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Dreadful Nonsense

"I've read your blog. it's really funny. you should write a column." - Jon Ronson

The biggest sellling point for me, the reason I went from "...I dunno..." to "LET'S BOOK IT RIGHT NOW!" when we were talking about what we might do for my birthday weekend was the mere mention of falconry.

Birds are not my friends, you see. In my lifetime, we have had one pet budgie (the cat ate it), one canary (died of starvation when we forgot to feed it) and two finches (one died of shock, the other died of heart break). None of these were my own pet, but I did feel kind of responsible for each of their deaths ALTHOUGH NONE OF THEM WERE MY FAULT but still, I carry guilt around with me like Paris Hilton carries tiny dogs.

So I thought that maybe meeting some new birds up close and personal, possibly holding them on my hand, perhaps having a quick chat about whether or not the bird population as a whole holds a grudge against me and if there was anything I could do to make up for it would be good.

The falconry went like this:

1. The man lined us all up in a row.
2. We put on the leather gauntlet.
3. He told us to step forward one by one with our arm out.
4. He passed us a piece of slaughtered day-old male chicken.
5. A bird of prey swooped down and sat on our arm.

6. We posed for photographs while the man told us interesting things about the birds.
7. This continued for an hour.
8. It was one of the best hours of my life.

Falconry ROCKS. In particular, I discovered that owls ROCK. They ROCK like nothing else ROCKS. Owls FREAKING RULE. I love me some owls. This is me with an owl:

Look! He loves me! I'm petting an OWL.

The man told us sadly about how it's still not necessary for people to hold licences to have certain birds as pets, including owls, and how the Harry Potter films have made having pet owls incredibly popular. We were asked to guess how much it would cost to have this bird:

as a pet. Having heard how much it costs to get a buzzard, or a falcon, or a hawk, we all guessed in the £1,000s. No, said the man, with an even sadder face. To get a chick that will one day grow into this fluffy wonderfulness, can cost you as little as £70.

I immediately turned to He Who Only... and asked if I could have an owl.


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