Birds of Prey, And Us Non-Birds

Last night at our little local library, a high school student told his story of visiting a falconer. The falcons, he said, have one primal force: to eat. He described feathered creatures who will sit for hours, waiting for a mouse to appear – almost sure prey at a hole – rather than using calories to fly randomly and seek the unknown.

The world of training these regal birds, the teenager relayed, centers on one primary object: a morsel of London broil on a leather gauntlet. That is so not the human way. Perhaps in hunter-gatherer days, single-minded patience and determination dictated human action, but it’s nearly impossible for me to imagine when the human terrain of desire – for food beyond sustenance, sweet, salty, and spicy; for silk and myriad dyed colors for fashion; for adulation on a small and great scale; for the comfort of coupling in bed, complicated or not – hasn’t constantly jumbled up civilization.

Aggravating, infuriating at times, this world I inhabit, and yet this morning, waking in the dark with a child murmuring in her sleep near me, what a wondrous world, too. Not far from my desk, a mouse scurries in and out of its tiny hole, busy with its own rodent variation of London broil. More generous this rainy morning, I think, Go about, little one.

Autumn Haiku

Even from my front porch
the rusted sewing machine
yearns for golden thread.

– Warren Falcon

Woodbury, Vermont

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


  1. This made me smile. Just an hour ago, a small falcon landed on my hedge. From my window I could see the sparrows trying to hide in the branches below. The bird made a few dives and swoops before taking off. I suspect I’ll find some feathers later.

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s