Nothing at the medieval festival really surprised me–it was all your typical jewelry, turkey legs, people in Batman costumes. Then I saw the falconry demonstration.
The falconer did a big introduction during which he offended people and yelled at people and also repeatedly said it’s possible the falcon would fly away instead of swooping down to get the lure he was swinging over his head. I thought he was saying that to make it seem even more amazing when the bird came back.
Then it didn’t come back. The guy left to see if he could find it. The show was over.
Even though everyone knows a trained animal is still an animal, and you can’t completely control it any more than you can completely control a human, it was still shocking to see the bird fly away and never return. I felt a little sad for the man since 1.) the whole point of the show was to have the bird come back, and 2.) he liked it like a pet, probably. But I also felt excited for the falcon, who was finally free. And that surprised me, because I didn’t think I really cared about birds very much.