Gaining Confidence
Mon Jun 5, 2006 21:15 (XFF:

Arin donned her glove once more and examined it on her hand, deciding as she did that it was a bit on the large side; being a small person, she also had fairly small hands. She deposited it back in the pile and shifted the mass of leather around for a few moments, managing to locate a smaller glove after a bit of searching. Finding that the glove fit satisfactorily, she then went over to the boxes. The box she opened contained a red-tailed hawk; she held out her hand for it, feeling for some reason rather like a young man offering to escort a young woman, and the hawk stepped carefully onto it. Arin hooded the bird carefully, still being somewhat overly cautious in her movements, and then walked back over to Demetri Sedai.

The ride to where they were going to hunt was indeed quite short, just as the Aes Sedai had said it would be. Arin, personally, would not have minded if it had been a bit longer – she missed riding. It was difficult to get out to ride in between studying the various things she was expected to learn as an Accepted.

"We'll bring out the Harris' hawks first," Demetri said, and then went on to explain that, as the birds were social by nature, they could hunt together. Arin looked over at her bird, perched calmly on her hand. It was convenient for her own odd aversions that she had gotten the bird that would be brought out in the second group – she would be able to watch some people go before herself, which would reassure her somewhat in her own performance.

Before the Harris' hawks flew, Demetri told everyone the names of their birds. The red-tail on Arin's hand was called Shadi. Nice name, Arin thought, though it has the one unfortunate characteristic of sounding slightly similar to "Shenalle". And Shenalle was a name that Arin wasn't terribly fond of – while she did not hate her sister, she didn't exactly love Shenalle, either.

Arin watched the Harris' hawks as they flew and dove, and watched as their handlers called them back. The students had varying degrees of success, but most were able to call their bird back to them after one or two tries. When the red-tails were brought out, Arin was not the first to go either, luckily for her. However, her turn came soon enough, as with all things.

Still being quite careful, Arin removed the hood from Shadi's head. She looked at the hawk for a moment, meeting the bird's eyes for a moment. Then she lifted her hand upwards. It was a powerful feeling, as the bird launched from her hand and into the sky.

She watched Shadi fly to the trees. The bird flew high for some moments, and then suddenly dropped like a stone.

"Shadi, here!" Arin shouted, perhaps a bit louder than was necessary. For a moment, no hawk appeared, and Arin was just preparing to call again when she spotted the red-tail flying out from the trees and back towards her. Arin smiled – she'd done it right on the first time.

Shadi had caught no prey. Arin held out her hand, and the hawk perched on it once more; when Arin hooded the bird, her movements were perhaps less ginger than they had been. As Arin watched the next student send his hawk out, she muttered under her breath to the hawk, "It's alright, dear… one doesn't need to get these things on the first try every time. You'll get it next time, I'm sure."

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