I wrote the first half of this story four years ago, over two weeks, during lunch hours at an awful job. The idea sprang from an article about peregrine falcons being used as pest control in Kuwait.
The second half was written over three years later – I’d quit the job by then. You can spot the temporal gap in the story, when I have resumed writing after discovering the story’s emotional balance.
The problem with animal-centric stories tends to be sentiment, as seen in A Boy and His Dog/ Dolphin and various Horse-and-Pony stories.Being a pathological tropebuster, I threw in A Man and His Golden Eagle and Construction Workers-vs-Birds of Prey. No weepy Lassie, Old Yeller, Born Free, The Incredible Journey or Fly Away Home. The story had to soar away from Ken Loach’s Kes (1968) and Richard Donner’s Ladyhawke (1985) and perch on its own branch.
Read it – after it spent four years as a nestling- in HEAT, an anthology of Southeast Asian urban writing edited by Khairani Barokka and Ng Yi-Sheng, published by Fixi Novo as a trio with the volumes FLESH and TRASH.
Back cover copy:
“You’ll find plenty of heat in this collection of stories, gathered from six different Southeast Asian nations: Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore. As part of our selection process, we’ve tried to select the more unexpected, thoughtful and risk-taking from the available pool of writing, forging from them a compendium of twisted, tender visions of our region.
Writers: Gabriela Lee, Zed Adam Idris, Vina Jie-Min Prasad, Rewat Panpipat (translated by Marcel Barang), Nikki Alfar, Joseph Ng, O Thiam Chin, Christine V. Lao, Alexander Marcos Osias, Catalina Rembuyan, Hồn Du Mục, Maf Deparis & Ivery del Campo, Diyana Mohamad, Peter Zaragoza Mayshle, Lee Ee Leen,Zedeck Siew, Bonnie Etherington and Julie Koh.”