In the spring issue of Intelligent Life magazine comedian/actor/writer Will Smith tries falconry.
Here’s the beginning of the piece:
There is something about having a bird of prey “on the fist” that stirs the soul of a man. It harks back to an age of chivalry and manly independence. It makes you want to put on a cloak and stride across moonlit hilltops. It also turns me into a nine-year-old boy wide-eyed with delight at facts such as this: the Golden Eagle can take out any mammal up to the size of a grey wolf. For the remainder of this piece, such “boy facts”—facts which give me a thrill akin to being winked at by Viggo Mortensen—will be italicised.
Men should not relieve themselves when hunting with hawks, as the hawk will see your, er, appendage as prey. According to Shaun, a falconer at the English School of Falconry in Bedfordshire, this rule was introduced after an actual incident. Ouch. I’m delighted to meet Shaun, mainly because I think “falconer”—along with “spy”, “explorer” and “I play guitar in U2”—is one of the coolest answers you can give to the question “What do you do for a living?”