In the warm, womb-like space of the cottage, the light from the open fire flickers and casts dull shadows of birds across the wall. On my gloved hand, a slender, lightweight and beautifully patterned female sparrowhawk. To my left, a smaller but no less impressive male. Both hawks emanate a quiet, self-contained calm. A fine balance of precision and coiled unsparing instinct, all contained within a gossamer skein of feather, skin, muscle and bone. They remind me of that thin slither of a moment just before a jack-in-the-box pops. Months ago these hawks arrived, via a vet, from the wild, injured. To have them legally in my possession is a rare pleasure.
The Falconer and the Hawks
Rebecca Giggs watches the slow death of a beached humpback whale.
As a child, Primo Levi discovered the surprising brutality to raising tadpoles.
Witness: Butterflies on a Wheel
Anthony Doerr on the most marvellous thing he's ever seen: the migration of butterflies in Wyoming.
The loss of a cat leads to recollections of other losses in this memoir by Mary Gaitskill.
Hilary Mantel grew up with a dog she called Victor and a brother she called pig.
‘Swifts come closer than any other creature to living in the sky and having air and ceaseless movement as their home.’
In the summer of 1917 Robert Grainier took part in an attempt on the life of a Chinese laborer caught, or anyway accused of, stealing from the company stores of the Spokane International Railway in the Idaho Panhandle.
‘Can bad mothers be taught to be good? Or maybe, can we be incentivized to bond? To love?’