Saturday, January 8, 2011

Grady, Goober and the Sport of Kings

“What the heck is that?” Grady asked, pointing to the large black bird Goober had strapped to his arm.

“A falcon,” Goober answered proudly. “I’m getting into falconry, the sport of kings.”

“You don’t know anything about falconry,” Grady sneered.

“Don’t have to. The falcon’s been trained to do everything. All I have to do is take this cover off his little head and throw him up in the air and he’ll go after the first thing he sees.”

“This I gotta see.”

Goober pulled the string that untied the strap holding the cap over the bird’s eyes and held him up in the air. He then began to jostle him up and down vigorously. Nothing.

“Thought you said he’d take off after the first thing he sees?”

“Wait till his eyes get adjusted to the light. It’s dark inside that cap, you know.” Goober shook his arm but the bird merely climbed past the elbow and onto Goober’s shoulder.

“Hate to be the one to tell you but that ain’t no falcon,” Grady laughed. “Looks to me like it’s a parrot.”

“No way. You ever seen a black parrot before?”

“Well it ain’t a falcon,” Grady said. “I’m saying a parrot.”

Pastor Jerguson walked by, his little Chihuahua clutched tightly under his arm. “Better watch your pup, Pastor J, if he’s the first thing Goober’s falcon sees when his eyes start working again he might make a tasty lunch out of him.”

“Grady, that’s not a falcon.”

“Told you so,” Grady said. “That’s what I told him, Pastor J. It’s a parrot, ain’t it?”

“No, it’s not a parrot, either.”

“What is it, an eagle?” Goober asked.

“Looks to me like a buzzard.”

“A buzzard!”

“Pretty sure,” the pastor answered. “Who told you it was a falcon?”

“This guy down at the Piggly Wiggly,” Goober answered.

“So Piggly Wiggly’s selling birds now?” Grady asked.

“No, this guy out in the parking lot asked me if I wanted to buy a falcon,” Goober said. “He told me he’d raised it from an egg and trained it himself. Said I could use it duck hunting. Save on shotgun shells.”

“How much?”

“Shotgun shells?”

“No, for the bird. How much did you pay for the buzzard?”

“Twenty bucks.”

“Well, that should have told you something,” Pastor Jerguson said. “A real falcon would have cost you several hundred. A trained one over a thousand.”

“Man, I should have known something,” Goober said. “Before I put his little cap on he wanted me to stop at every dead animal we saw all the way here.”

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