Sparrow Hawk

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"... I saw a shadow, like a Maltese cross, slide over the low scrub, and a sparrowhawk appeared, flying low and fast towards the weasel who was sitting up on his stone sniffing the air and apparently unaware of his danger. I was just wondering whether to shout or clap my hands to warn him when he saw the hawk. With an incredible turn of speed he turned, leapt gracefully on to the ruined wall and disappeared into a crack between two stones that I would have thought would not have allowed the passage of a slow-worm, let alone a mammal the size of the weasel. It was like a conjuring trick; one minute he had been sitting on his rock, the next he vanished into the wall like a drop of rain water. The sparrowhawk checked with fanned tail and hovered briefly, obviously hoping the weasel would reappear. After a moment or so it got bored and slid off down the mountainside in search of less wary game. After a short time the weasel poked his little face out of the crack. Seeing the coast was clear he emerged cautiously. ..."

THE GARDEN OF THE GODS © Gerald Durrell 1978

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