The one-armed Bandit


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He grew up in and around my garden flat and was soon getting airborne and flying around the homestead.  Every night he would carefully select a safe roost.  Every morning, if I overslept, Cuthbert would wake me by walking over the tin roof scraping his talons and by pecking on the window next to my bed, making weird gurgling noises and talking in his ‘Bill and Ben’ language.  He became quite a celebrity at Biesjiesfontein and would join us every evening on the lawn for sundowners.  But he would mix his drinks, a little bit of beer here, a little bit of wine there, and then fly off, very wobbly, into one of the fir trees.  He had two favourite games.  One was to call Marie’s cats and then laugh as they bounded towards the house.  He had everybody’s laugh down to a fine tee.  The other was to sneak up behind Sam the sheepdog while he was sleeping and then yank a great tuft of hair from his tail.  Sam would spring into the air each time.  Cuthbert won everybody’s heart, except perhaps Sam’s.

Additional information

Dimensions32 × 24 cm

Fine Art Print, Original Artwork

Rob Davies

Rob studied art at school to A level and has kept the interest in painting going alongside a career in biology and conservation.  Although he prefers to sketch and paint from life in the field, Rob has been commissioned to do exact bird illustrations for various publications including journals, a monograph on the Black Eagle and a field guide to African birds of prey.

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