Sound the Bugle now, tell them I don't care.
There's not a road I know that leads to anywhere.
Without a light I fear that I will stumble in the dark,
Lay right down and decide, not to go on
Then from on high, somewhere in the distance
There's a voice that calls: "Remember who you are!"
If you lose yourself, your courage soon will follow.
So be strong tonight, remember who you are.
To be free once more, that's worth fighting for!
Yiss, there's a voice out there that sings the soundtrack to everyone's life once in a while. It just happens that for me this time it's Brian Adams' Sound the Bugle.
Monotonous is the word I fear most in the world, and not without a good reason. Life needs to have some variety. You need to do something different. If you don't, your mind, body and even your very spirit can wither. Your spirit shuffles along with it's head down, not knowing, caring, that slowly it's starving to death. It turns into a mindless zombie, and should it stumble and fall it doesn't bother to pick itself up. And that's just what mine has been doing the past few months. It's been shuffling along a dark passage, about to fall into a trap. Then it stopped, and it smelled something. It smelled a small breeze of hope on the wind, and suddenly, it stopped, slammed it's foot down in anger and refused to take one more step until it's path had been purposfully changed and it could trot up a much brighter pathway.
Yuss, hope lights the pathway, it gives us something to look up at with adoration and caring and lifts our spirits, teaching them to fly. And to talk of flying, what has given us this small taste of hope? Well while I'm writing it down I may as well recount the whole day.
It started on the 2nd of October, 2010. The day I went to the Herts Game and Country fair. After much persuasion I'd finally convinced the parents to let me go and they decided to bring half the family too. We saw a hamster judging competition, marvelous gundogs at work, hundreds of vendors selling intruiging things, horse sports, woodcarving, a blacksmith guild and game cookery classes. Then we saw the falconry. I was absolutely amazed by the sheer number of birds. Owls, hawks, falcons, eagles, vultures, buzzards, you name it they had it. The rest of the family grey quickly bored by the birds, but I adored them. After they'd left the final tent I stayed behind to look at the harris hawks. The falconer watched me carefully, then told me he could see quite clearly that I had a love for the birds and asked if I wanted to hold one of them. I replied nervously but with definate entusiasm, and he brought over a massive female harris hawk named Maggie. She was quite the looker. At 23 years old, she was still a capable hunter and was very smart. The falconer told me to deliberately drop the leash, so I did, and she prompty picked it up and pushed it back into my hand, then searched my fingers for bits of food, nibbling them quite hard when she couldn't smell any. I absolutely adored her, and was quite sad to have to give her back.
After holding Maggie, we watched a gundog show. I have never seen such incredibly smart dogs. The one on show was a tiny bitch who had been trained to catch birds after they'd been shot. Boy, was she sharp. Once a fake lure had been thrown and a gun fired to stimulate shooting a bird and it falling, she was given voice directions as to where it was. She followed her masters voice without a hesitation, and when she was uncertain she looked at him and he pointed either left or right. She was actually capable of following his arm signals, twisting left or right as he commanded. She found the lure and came sprinting back to owner with a huge smile on her face like she was the happiest thing ever. Sometimes, the owner explained, two birds are shot in quick succession. One might be shot dead immediately, but one might be injured and need to be brought back to the owner asap. If the bitch found the dead bird first and picked it up to bring it back, the master would shout "Leave!" and the dog would immediately put it down and go after the injured bird. Every command he gave her was met with a quick and entusiastic responce, she seemed to understand every word he was telling her. I wanted her too. <3
After going around the vendors and watching part of the horse show, everyone stopped at the main eating tent for food. Brekfast, lunch and dinner in this family is a very slow affair, and after wolfing down my suspitiously beef-like ostrich burger I hovered around the table wondering why they were taking so long where there was still so many fascinating things to see, smell, taste and experience. Mum eventually got tired of my hovering and told me to go and do something, which I promptly done without any persuasion.
Enjoying my freedom, I stopped to watch a chef teaching people how to properly roast a pheasant for a while, went to drool over the beautiful, thick, rugged sheepskins then made my way back to the falconry tent. On my way past the burger stand, I saw this mud soaked feather lying on the floor and curious, picked it up. Through the dirt I could see barring on it and deciding it looked suspitiously like a bird of prey feather, pushed it into my satchel and carried on to the falconry. I stopped first off to watch the glorious Steppe eagle. The same bird out of The Sight, I was quite amazed at how massive and cruel looking this bird looked. He was a male called Boris, and had the biggest, sharpest beak I've ever seen. At one point he spread his wings and tried to fly off his perch, and his wingspan was bigger than a very tall male human lying down. The birds that caught my attention most though were the hybrids. There were some Gyr/Saker hybrids, some buzzard hybrids, and some peregrine hybrids. They all had some stunning characteristics of each parent and were quite fascinating to watch. The falconer, a different one to the one mentioned prior, told me that he could see I harboured a love for the birds rather than just a passing interest like everyone else who had entered the tent. I was quite startled to be told this a second time in one day, and wondered if my face was really that easy to read. I guess being away from human contact ment that I haven't learned to control my facial expressions like other people. I was really cautious of this old male at first, he didn't have the most open, friendly looking face, but once he'd made the impression of just being a lonely old man who loved his birds I relaxed quite a bit in his presence. He asked me which bird I'd taken a liking to most, and when I told him it was the ferruginous buzzard he brought the bird over so I could have a closer look. She was very eagle like in appearence, which I told him and he explained that the latin name basically means buzzard-eagle because of thier appearance. After a small discussion about the birds he said he had to go conduct a flying display, but gave me his buisness card and told me to ring him if I wanted to come see the birds at his later events. I watched the bird show, and some really amazing creatures were shown. An African Fish Eagle was shown, as well as other birds who's long names I can't quite recall.
After the show I went back to the bird tent to look at them all again. The falconer, who's buisness card told me his name was Andy, was telling an interested man all about how the ferruginous buzzard had a phobia of dogs and had once slaughtered an inquisitive collie by gripping it's scruff and ripping it's throat out. Looking at the beak and talons of the bird, it certainly wasn't hard to imagine. My mobile started ringing half way through the anecdote, and I was being summoned away from my beloved birds and back to the car. But I didn't want to go yet, oh no. I was determind to stay with my birdies even if it ment being naughty. So I stayed a terse few minutes more (which felt like an eternity) then when most of the other people had left the tent I noticed the Gyr/saker hybrid, Lad, had dropped one of his primary feathers. I cautiously asked Andy if I could have it for my collection, and he not only gave me the feather but went and fetched the paired feather from his van so I could keep the pair together. I couldn't have been more grateful to this man. And as if he hadn't had already done enough, he said come winter time I should call him and I could come work with his birds as an apprentice thing of sorts. He told me accomodation would be basic, but I was free to come fly and learn with the birds if I was willing to travel for it.
Yiss, that little piece of hope has given me something to gnaw on. It's my little light in the darkness, preventing me from stumbling and refusing to get up again. I am so lost in life, I have no goals, no real talents, nothing to look foward to or rely on. Sometimes you just need that one little thing to hold onto, to keep you afloat in your own sanity. And as for that muddy feather I picked up, it turned out to be a gorgeous barred tail feather from some bird of prey. I have yet to find out which one though.
So moving on to present and future life, there is something in my immediate future to worry about. When I was out with my sister a few weeks back we bumped into one of her work colleagues and his wife. After the general small talk humans seem to favour, his wife invited us around for dinner on the 16th, which we accepted. Then his wife, named Jo, asked us if there was anywhere around the town where she could find some nice winter boots. I told her about some beautiful sheepskin boots that a nearby shop had recently stocked in, and she looks utterly horrifed, exchanged a look with her husband and said she couldn't possibly wear something that had been a living animal. She said she'd wear them if they were fake, but certainly not real. Oh noes. I smiled politely and said the same shop also stocked fake skin boots too. She looked mollified and left. I looked at my sister. "This is going to cause problems." I said.
We discussed it on the way home. Of couse I'm not the sort of person who'll throw my opinion in her face, nor do I disrespect hers, not do I think she's wrong for it. I'm ok with people who feel uncomfortable using animals. But I can't tell if she'll be as lenient for my opinions. Naturally, I'm not going to walk in and start telling her all about my skinning animals hobby, but inevitably conversation tends to fall onto me as I don't say much and people want to make me feel included. When the situation arises, I'll be fine if I just bend my words a bit and say I'm interested in collecting natural history. If she enquires further I'll tell her about my love for nature and how I enjoy things like falconry, zoos and farms, and oh yeah, taxidermy. I'm going for the surpirse tactic. It's the last thing people expect to come out the mouth of a petite 16 year old female, so most people are surprised which turns into interest. Some are a bit put off by the dead animals part, but I've never had anyone tell me it's 'wrong'.
None of this worries me, exept for one thing. My brother. Oooooh boy, if he wasn't coming things would be much easier. But he has the biggest mouth known to mankind, and no doubt will mention something stupid or embarrasing. He embarreses and angers my sister every single time they go out to a dinner or party together, because he is, quite frankly, a complete social retard. His way of socialising is to insult people and pick up on thier personal subjects and discuss it. He is completely immune to when someone feels uncomfortable or uninterested. Almost every time my sister comes home from work she's angry at something he's done or said. He calls people fat, spreads rumours and even called my sisters boss, a really nice woman who interviewed me, a bitch. Not to her face of course, he's way too chicken for that. In short, if you haven't already gotten it, he is the world's biggest twat.
Which is why I am so worried about him coming to this dinner. I can just see him putting on that stupid grin of his when someone asks me what I enjoy doing, and interrupting with something horrible before I can awnser. I swear I will throw a knife at him if he does anything stupid during this dinner. And if he does, I really don't know how I will talk my way out of it. I am in no way ashamed of what I do, nor do I think it's wrong, but I want to prevent from offending people at all costs.
Urrrgh, if only there was someone I could hire to take this twit away for the whole day so I can actually enjoy some sort of socialisation in peace.
Anyways, today, 10/10/10, is a stunning bright, beautiful day and I'm not going to waste it sitting in front of the computer anymore. Byes!