By: Jocelyn Desabrais
After the tragic death of his beloved Kestrel, Billy Casper walked slowly into the shed. The shed where his life and fun used to live, but now only the stale stench of wood and steel. He peered into Kes’ nest. He could not believe what he saw. Five Kestrel eggs, nestled into the soft moss and twigs. Quickly, but carefully, he picked up the nest and carried it into the warm house. Because it was Winter, it was becoming cold outside. Billy thought he could almost hear Kes’ thanking him for rescuing her eggs. He smiled to himself at that thought.
As the chicks grew into birds, Billy started training them to fly on leashes. One day, while training the smallest bird, who he had named Dragon, Billy realized that he could let him off leash. The next day, Billy went to talk to Mr. Farthing after class. Mr. Farthing was incredibly interested in Billy’s passion of hawks and recognized his talent with birds. Mr. Farthing remembered that his friend, Mr. Caleb Jacobs, owned a zoo. When Mr. Farthing told Billy, he could not wait to meet Mr. Jacobs.
The next day, Billy excitedly sped down the hill, towards the field where he would meet Mr. Farthing and Mr. Jacobs. With Dragon on his gloved hand, Billy entered the gate to the field. As Billy walked further into the field, he spotted the two men he was looking for near the centre of the grassy clearing. After Billy and Mr. Jacobs introduced themselves, Billy let Dragon off his leash and started walking her over to the fence post. Billy started strolling over to the centre of the field while hooking meat onto the creance. When Billy reached the centre of the field, he turned around and called out Dragon’s name while swinging around the creance with meat on it. As Dragon flew over, Billy swung the meat around, making Dragon swoop around. Mr. Jacobs was amazed that such a young boy could possess such control over this small hawk. Billy smiled as once again, Dragon swooped down for the meat. Billy gradually slowed down the swinging creance. When the creance stopped swinging, Billy called Dragon over, and he landed on Billy’s thick glove.
Billy started carefully, sauntering over to where Mr. Jacobs and Mr. Farthing were standing. Mr. Jacobs smiled at Billy, and told him that he would love to have Billy perform this at the local zoo. Billy was so ecstatic, he could barely contain himself. Billy agreed he would start on the next morning. The next day, Billy headed out to the local zoo. When he arrived, he saw Mr. Jacobs at the front gate waving at him. As he stepped onto the stage, Billy noticed a sizeable audience start to appear. Billy started to show the crowd what he and Dragon could do, the audience started clapping. Billy was so proud of himself knowing that this would be everyday for the next years of his life. He smiled to himself at that thought.