A bedtime story - When the boy was 6 years old, his father gave him a falcon to train. […] The falcon didn’t like the boy, and he didn’t like it, either. Its sharp beak made him nervous, and its bright eyes always seemed to be watching him. […] But the boy tried, because his father had told him to make the falcon obedient, and he wanted to please his father. He stayed with the falcon constantly, […] He learned the equipment: the jesses, the hood, the brail, the leash that bound the bird to his wrist. […] When it learned to circle and land on his wrist, he nearly shouted with delight. Sometimes the bird would hop to his shoulder and put its beak in his hair. He knew his falcon loved him, and when he was certain that it was not just tamed but perfectly tamed, he went to his father and showed him what he had done, expecting him to be proud. Instead his father took the bird, now tame and trusting, in his hands, and broke its neck. “I told you to make him obedient,” his father said, and dropped the falcon’s lifeless body to the ground. “Instead, you taught it to love you. Falcons are not meant to be loving pets […]” Later, when his father left him, the boy cried over his pet, until his father sent a servant to take the body of the bird away and bury it. The boy never cried again, and he never forgot what he’d learned: That to love is to destroy, and to be loved is to be the one destroyed.
(asked by Liam)