TITLE: The Shoemaker's Daughter
GENRE: YA Retelling
Connor stared up at the hawk hanging by a leather strap tangled on a pine branch. She flapped to gain purchase, flashing her mottled brown and white underwings. His heart pumped. The bird would die and quickly. He needed Robert to help solve this. What use was an older brother in another country?
As he looked into the canopy of needles, branches far out of reach, the branch of a neighboring oak caught his eye. He walked under it. He loved to climb. Jumping not so much. But this was the way if there was one. And it would delay the dance lesson.
He climbed until the branches sagged with his weight. Leaning back, he swayed the young tree, and on the crest he jumped, pine tanging his nostrils as he scrabbled the wood. With the branch encased between his legs, he shimmied toward the shrieking bird, hands collecting tar. Reaching the strap, he pulled a short knife from his belt. Clenching the blade between his teeth, his check against the rough bark, he hoisted the bird whose flapping unsteadied him. He blindly cut at the leather wrapped around her leg. Her talons caught at his shirt, piercing the flesh. Connor grunted, he’d nicked her. He felt the leather break between his fingers and released her leg. She fell, spinning, then caught the wind and soared away. Getting down wouldn’t be so easy for him. He let his arms dangle, wishing he didn’t have to come down.