Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/161

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119
RURAL SPORTS

wished to use from the cadge and mounted her, still hooded, upon his wrist. The dogs were then slipped and the game started out of cover. As soon as the game bird appeared in sight close at hand, the falconer unhooded his hawk, slipped the jesses that bound her to his wrist, and whistled her off. She rose at once to her full height, or pitch, then, taking careful aim, stooped, that is, darted down upon her prey. If the hawk missed her aim she had to rise to her full pitch and stoop again. A few, however, of the smaller kind of hawks pursued the game immediately, but the larger hawks and the falcons always followed the game after the above fashion.

When the hawk caught the bird she began to tear it to pieces. It was necessary for the falconer to be close at hand in order to rescue the bird from its pursuer, the hawks always being taken to the field hungry, a condition that improved their hunting qualities. The falconer usually rewarded the hawk with the head of the bird that had been caught; then he would re-hood the hawk and replace her upon the cadge till the dogs had aroused more game.

There are many terms connected with the art of falconry which space prevents from insertion here. Madden has much to say on the subject, and there are numerous contemporary handbooks