Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Kes: A Kestrel for a Knave


"The wood ended at a hawthorn hedge lining one side of a cart track. Across the track and beyond an orchard stood the Monastery Farm, and at the side of it, the ruins and one remaining wall of the monastery. Billy walked along the hedge bottom, searching for a way through. He found a hole, and as he crawled through a kestrel flew out of the monastery wall and veered away across the fields behind the farm. Billy knelt and watched it. In two blinks it was a speck in the distance; then it wheeled and began to return. Billy hadn’t moved a muscle before it was slipping back across the face of the wall towards the cart track.

Half-way across the orchard it started to glide upwards in a shallow curve and alighted neatly on a telegraph pole at the side of the cart track. It looked round, roused its feathers, then crossed its wings over its back and settled. Billy waited for it to turn away, then, watching it all the time, he carefully stretched full length in the hedge bottom. The hawk tensed and stood up straight, and stared past the monastery into the distance. Billy looked in the same direction. The sky was clear. A pair of magpies flew up from the orchard and crossed the wood, their quick wing beats seeming to just keep them airborne. They took stance in a tree close by and started to chatter, each sequence of chatterings sounding like one turn of a football rattle. The hawk ignored them and continued to stare into the distance. The sky was still clear. Then a speck appeared on the horizon. It held like a star, then fell and faded. Died. To re-appear a moment later further long the sky-line. Fading and re-forming, sometimes no more than a point in the texture of the sky. Billy squeezed his eyes and rubbed them. On the telegraph pole the hawk was sleek and still. The dot magnified slowly into its mate, circling and scanning the fields round the farm."

A Kestrel for a Knave (1968) Barry Hines

"You might think its funny

You might think he gets whats coming to him

You might be wrong"



Read full review of Kes - Original Soundtrack - JOHN CAMERON on Boomkat.com ©

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