Featured: Follow me Ezio
Lucky Feathers (cap.3)Cowardly, incorrect and sneaky. In short, an unspeakable behavior. With what courage could Malík have been shown in public after such an action? Instead of tackling the fight honorably he had called Robert again! So here they are, both staring at him talking to each other in that strange language typical of humans. Despite having lived with them since he was a chick, he still struggled to understand everything they said.Robert took a step towards him, and Altaďr wasted no time in showing his most ferocious attitude: this time he intended to continue to look at the pet carrier from outside, as he was doing now, and he just didn’t intend to tolerate that those large handles of his still close once on its precious livery. The human seemed to understand the message and withdrew prudently."You know Malík, I have to admit I'm a little unsure about trying to catch him, given how things went last time"The other snorted annoyed, but couldn’t deny the wisdom of the falconer's words: "So? I don't want him in my house. Maybe we could call his owner," he proposed."Mister Al-Sinad doesn’t drive and it would take too long to go and get him and then bring him back ... Not to mention that Altaďr doesn't necessarily pay attention to him either: he’s a very stubborn bird, you know?""Don't tell me ... so what?"Robert took a moment to reflect: "You said he didn't run away when you threatened him with a broom, right?""No, he said he wouldn't move until I freed him of those laces again""Did Altaďr tell you?""Yes, that is ..." Malík groaned and rubbed the bridge of his nose; if he seemed crazy even half of what he felt after thinking back to what had just come out of his mouth, it was really a miracle that Robert had not already escaped. That man was to be a saint.The falconer, for his part, chuckled and put everything aside with a wave of his hand: "exactly what did he do? I mean to communicate""He stared at me, then, making sure I was following what he was doing, he pecked and tugged the laces ...""Jesses""What it is. He wrinkled them a little and then looked at me again. When I didn't react he repeated everything, he did it three times"Robert nodded thoughtfully: "but he didn't attack you, huh?""I don't think I gave him any reason," Malík shrugged.Robert nodded to himself and leaned over to grab a thick falconer's glove from his bag which he held open as if he wanted Malík to put his hand in it."The last employee of Mr. Al-Sinad found himself with half his face destroyed for threatening Altaďr with a broom. So if he didn't attack you when you did it, it could mean one thing: he was never in his intentions harm you in any way. I think you like him. "Malík snorted incredulously and squared the glove distrustfully."I'm pretty sure he'll let you take it, and maybe it's the only way to solve the matter without harm."This time Malík's exhalation was due to the resignation: "Are you sure of what you are doing?""Do you want a nice lie or a ugly truth?"Malík put his right hand into the glove: "mark it, so you don't risk forgetting it: on my tombstone I want an epitaph that you recite I had said, which wasn’t a good idea"Robert chuckled nervously, "You're not an optimist by nature, are you?""An optimist is only a misinformed pessimist"Robert chuckled again as Malík cautiously approached the eagle now very interested in what was happening.It isn’t that a single good idea would ever redeem the big man in the eyes of Altaďr, but it was also true that he was a magnanimous and honorable eagle (as well as modest) so it was with royal detachment that he recognized Robert to have had a good idea to give Malík one of the gloves needed to become a more comfortable perch and therefore to suggest that he get closer so that Altaďr could sit down. Of course, apparently he would have had to keep the jesses tied to his paws unfortunately, but he was curious to prove what it was like to be kept on the fist by Malík and hoped that the sensation would have been pleasant enough to repay him for the annoyance of the bonds.Malík approached following Robert's instructions and continuing to visualize an endless series of catastrophic outcomes of the current situation in his mind."Well, now put your hand on your paws and press lightly against them to entice him to get on your wrist. Don't be frightened: he could open his wings and wave them a little to keep in balance"To Malík's surprise, however, nothing of the sort happened: as soon as he put his gloved hand close enough, Altaďr climbed on it elegantly, observing him with what seemed a satisfied and pleased expression.Robert nodded and applauded: "Congratulations, great catch; now hold the jesses in your hand: they will serve to keep him in case he tries to escape again"Malík obeyed and watched for a few seconds the animal resting on his fist unable to hold back a smile: wow, it was an electrifying feeling to have such an impressive animal so close, even through the thick leather glove he could feel the strength of the grip of the big curved claws. He intensely wished not to have his left hand blocked by the dressings so he could touch that magnificent livery: "He's heavy" he chuckled: "but much less than I thought""It's a bird," Robert reminded him with a warm smile. "You like it? It's a nice feeling to have such an animal resting on your arm, isn't it?"Malík nodded without being able to erase the smile from his face or take his eyes off the wonderful bird of prey: "I didn't think it could be like this""Listen, Malík, would you like to come with me? To accompany Altaďr at home, I mean: if your presence reassures him, maybe he will stay calm and not make too many tantrums"Malík took a few seconds to ponder the proposal, after all, he had nothing to do and was curious to see what the infernal mouth looked like capable of regurgitating the kind of feathered demons to which Altaďr belonged.He ended up agreeing and soon found himself climbing a narrow road winding through an impressive landscape of peaks and overhangs, dotted here and there with imposing ruins that covered an historic arch from the Roman era to the Middle Ages.Robert's car was a large and comfortable light gray truck that the falconer drove with delicate firmness, so as to make the journey pleasant despite the roughness of the road they had taken. Altaďr, for his part, seemed accustomed to traveling while sitting in someone's arms: he curled up on Malík's legs as soon as he had taken his place, being careful not to use his claws to tighten the thin fabric of his trousers and the tender underlying skin, therefore he stretched his neck to look out the window with compassionate composure."It is a vice that Mr. Al-Sinad has given him. To travel in someone's arms or in the passenger seat I mean"Malík roused himself abruptly from the admired trance in which he had slipped, realizing only at that moment that he had spent at least a quarter of an hour watching enchanted Altaďr. He smiled embarrassed: "I didn't think eagles could behave like this""Oh, usually they don't, mon amie. It's a typical attitude only of the Nizari Eagles: they are very intelligent creatures and their behavior is more similar to that of a dog than that of other birds of prey."Malík nodded: "You said they are domestic eagles, is that why they are like that?""Exact""What about the others? I mean, I thought that all the birds of prey used today were born in captivity .... That is ..."Robert chuckled as he seemed to do practically on every occasion: "They are, they are: but you see, there is a huge difference between domestication and training. Normal birds of prey are trained animals, that is, they retain both the somatic and behavioral behavior of a wild animal, but they are grown and trained by getting them used to humans and living in contact with them. The Nizari Eagles instead underwent a targeted selection, both from a physical and behavioral point of view, aimed at making them different from their conspecifics and more suitable for them to relate to humans. A bit like what happened to dogs, cows and horses to mean "Malík nodded: "He looks like a completely different bird now, compared to which tried to kill us all in my garage," he remarked."Yes, well, with Altaďr it’s always like this: if you like him and do things as he likes he’s an angel. If he dislikes you instead, it's over for you ... I’m a glaring example unfortunately" he admitted, with a hint of sadness, Robert."And what wickedness would you have stained yourself to earn such a grudge, if I can ask?"Robert returned to his good-natured laugh; Malík honestly did not understand how, a sweet and sunny person like Robert, could be the target of so much hatred by an animal."Oh, a series of iniquities. The most serious I think was stealing his Fruit of Eden""Its ... what?""Yes, in short, his Apple of Paradise"Malík stunned his gaze from Robert to Altaďr who had turned as if he were following the conversation and gave him a look that seemed to mean yes, Malík: he dared so much."It's a toy," Robert explained amusedly. "It's his favorite: a golden ball that looks vaguely like an apple. Oh, you have to see him when he plays with it! It's like he's in heaven; that's why we started to call it his Fruit of Paradise or similar. I take it to force him to get close to me enough to catch him when I have to catch him to undergo routine veterinary checks ... And of course I am always the one keeping him still during these procedures. Mr. Al-Sinad is no longer a young man now and Altaďr is very strong, so often we at the Lionheart center go to his farm to help him manage him and the most problematic birds of prey. That weirdo old man and his companion present here have managed to get away all the assistants who worked on the farm and now Rashid is only to take care of the eagles "Malík chuckled: "Ah, now I understand: you really are a cruel man ... and I thought you were so kind!" He joked.
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