The Hawk the Falcon & the Pigeons

Oils on board
91.5 x 107 cm

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Moral: They that elect a tyrant get all they deserve.

A group of racing Pigeons were harassed by Kāhu, a Harrier Hawk, who, every now and then, flew down and successfully carried off one of them. So nervous did they become about the Hawk, that they decided to ask Karearea, the Falcon, if she would guard them. ‘You are one of the fastest creatures on earth,’ they said, ‘swifter and stronger than the Hawk. Will you not guard and keep us safe from his attacks?’ The Falcon agreed to become their protector providing she was granted all royal privilege and power over them. But no sooner had Karearea been crowned, and the Pigeons taken an oath of allegiance, than the Falcon maintained it was her right to devour a Pigeon whenever she wanted. Within days she had killed more Pigeons than the Hawk in months.