Kreative Kue 174

Kreative Kue 173 asked for submissions based on this photograph (for the true story behind this photo, see teaching Keelie to hover):

My thanks to John W Howell, author of the John Cannon trilogy of My GRL, His Revenge, Our Justice and Circumstances of Childhood, and who blogs at Fiction Favorites, who sent:

The Audition by John W. Howell © 2018

“Okay, sir. What is it you’re doing today?”

“I want to thank you for giving me the opportunity to join the Wildlife Club.”

“This is a tryout, sir. We will determine if you are qualified for the Wildlife membership after your audition.”

“Oh, I know that. You’ll have to excuse me. I’m really excited about becoming a member.”

“Yessir. We are very excited about that prospect as well. Again, what are you doing for your audition?”

“Ah, very good then. Today I’m going to demonstrate various calling techniques.”

“Calling techniques?”

“My first is hawk calling.”

“Excuse me. I missed that. Did you say hog calling.”

“Ha ha ha. I know it sounded like that. No, hawk, that is h-a-w-k calling. C-a-l-l— ”

“I get it. Looks like you already have a hawk.”

“Oh, that is just a decoy.”

“What are the dogs doing?”

“They are ready to go after the groundhog.”

“Groundhog?”

“Yes, see this little puppet on my hand?”

“Hadn’t noticed it before, but now I do.”

“It’s a groundhog lure.”

“Groundhog lure? How does it work?”

“You wiggle it like so while blowing this whistle.”

“Pardon me, but you have a funny smirk on your face. Is this for real?”

“Oh please don’t think I’m not sincere. It’s just when I blow the whistle, so many groundhogs show up it is comical.”

“Okay. You can start any time.”

“First the hawk call. Sooooouuuuuuuuuuiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee. Now the whistle.”

“Mr. Peters?”

“Yes?”

“Where did all these pigs come from?”

“I’m sure I couldn’t tell you. They are in the way of the groundhogs though.”

“Thank you. We’ll be in touch.”

“Did I make it?”

“Don’t call us. we’ll call you.”


Pam Wight, author of Twin Desires, The Right Wrong Man and Birds of Paradise, and who blogs at Rough Wighting, sent a brief, but deep flash of vision:

Just as he pressed his lips to the whistle for a second time, one hawk on his head and two dogs panting by his side, she appeared: the vision of all he’d dreamed of, hoped for, lusted after. He desperately tried to swallow the second toot, because perhaps at his next blow, she’d disappear.


My effort was:

Over ‘ere, son. On me ‘ead.

“So… what’s the boss doing today, Hobie?”

“You’ve asked the right Labrador, Flash. I know all about this”

“How?”

“I listened in while the boss was talking to his mate about it.”

“You mean the mistress?”

“That’s the only mate the boss has.”

“Are you sure about that?”

“Did you wink at me then, Flash? I didn’t know dogs could wink. Anyway, let me tell you something about humans. According to the sacred texts, they mate for life and have a monogamous relationship.”

“And if they want to spread their genes further than just one mate?”

“Then the pair-bond would be broken, and that never goes well. But I know for sure the boss doesn’t do that.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Well, remember the human we used to live with?”

“The one that’s in a rescue centre now?”

“Yes, only it’s not a rescue centre, it’s a prison.”

“What’s the difference?”

“You don’t get rescued. Simple as.”

“What about him?”

“I could always tell when he had mated with another female.”

“How?”

“You, Flash, have extremely good eyesight; that’s your strength. I’m practically blind, but by golly, my nose makes up for it.”

“So you’re saying…”

“I’m saying that the boss only ever mates with the mistress.”

“Alright. So what did you hear about what he’s doing today?”

“You remember that young kestrel the boss brought home, the one he keeps in the aviary next to the redtail?”

“Yeah.”

“And you know he’s been training it up and exercising it to get it ready to go free?”

“I know all that.”

“Well, he reckons it’s nearly ready to go. Today’s lesson is teaching it to hover—”

“Like kestrels do…”

“Yeah – it’s how they hunt. But he told the mistress that he can’t let it go free until he knows that it can do that.”

“So how’s he plan to teach it to hover? He can hardly explain it with diagrams, can he?”

“The plan, he said, is to cast it into the field, the call it back with the whistle for a bit of food. Then, just as it’s ready to drop onto his fist to claim the reward, he’s gonna hide it. The kestrel’s supposed to hover and look for it, and as soon as it does, he’ll bring the food out again.”

“That sounds like a plan, but is he sure the bird’s smart enough to know that?”

“Let’s watch – well, you watch, I’ll listen. Out it goes, into the field … whistle … the bird comes back and… hide the food.”

“Erm, Hobie…”

“What?”

“Does the master know he’s got a kestrel on his head?”

“Has he?”

“Yes. As soon as he hid the food, the bird landed in his hair. You don’t suppose it’ll build a nest in there, do you?”

“I doubt it, but it tells us one thing. We didn’t need to wonder if the bird’s smart enough to work out what the master’s doing.”

“If I stand here and give him the look, d’you suppose the master’ll toss me a bit of the bird’s food?”

“Probably, Flash. He knows you’ll catch it, and he likes to end on a high.”


On to this week’s challenge: Using this photo as inspiration, write a short story, flash fiction, scene, poem; anything, really; even just a caption for the photograph. Either put it (or a link to it) in a comment or email it to me at keithchanning@gmail.com before 6pm next Sunday (if you aren’t sure what the time is where I live, this link will tell you). If you post it on your own blog or site, a link to this page would be appreciated, but please do also mention it in a comment here – pingbacks don’t often work.

Go on. You know you want to. Let your creativity and imagination soar. I shall display the entries, with links to your own blog or web site, next Monday.

3 comments

  1. Pingback: Kreative Kue 175 | Keith Kreates!
  2. Pingback: Matchless | Keith Kreates!

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