Congratulations, You Have Been Invited To Hawktoberfest, by Dan Caprera

Dear Mr. Kensington,

It is with great joy that I tender to you my deepest and sincerest “congratulations.” Over the past few decades, you have been an avid yet discreet patron of the Phillip Hendricks Institute of Ornithological Fraternity. And, considering the many anonymous donations that you’ve made to our highly-specialized Avicultural Society, you have proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that your love of hawks (the winged she-devil that God himself aspires to become) is beyond rebuke. In short, Mr. Kensington, you have sacrificed greatly and have proven yourself to be a true hawk lover, and not a deceiver like those who would try to steal our secrets. But enough of these empty words of commendation; it is time to reward your charity in full. And so, dear colleague, I am deeply honored to hereby extend to you an invitation to our upcoming Hawktoberfest.

Yes. That’s right, Mr. Kensington. Hawktoberfest. The once-in-a-lifetime festival where hawks and humans are finally allowed to comingle in harmony, far away from the prying eyes of a society that will never truly comprehend the mutual respect that has always existed between the realms of man and bird. An event that only occurs once every 50 years, for fear that our many enemies will discover our mirth-making and seek to quell it. You may have heard baseless rumors as to the existence of this event, Mr. Kensington. But, let me tell you right now: All the rumors are true and they are but pale, insipid depictions of a reality too spectacular and hawk-filled to accurately put into mere words.

Just a few logistical details. This year’s Hawktoberfest will take place during the third week of Hawktober. Since we are both avid scholars of hawk-lore, I am sure you know exactly when Hawktober will occur this year (every year is different). However, before continuing, I must now remind you that your wife Dolores IS NOT A TRUE HAWK ENTHUSIAST AND IS, AS SUCH, PROHIBITED FROM ATTENDING THIS YEAR’S HAWKTOBERFEST. If an outsider, even a loved one, is brought into the gilded wings of Hawktoberfest, the consequences would be unspeakable. Unthinkable.

As is customary, the location of Hawktoberfest will be the main hall of the Temple of Avicultural Fraternity. And, in a divisive break from decorum, our customary masks will no longer be mandatory. Yet, as we both know, they are always greatly appreciated.

Although I am certain you will be in attendance, here are just a few of the many events that will occur during this year’s Hawktoberfest extravaganza, to pique your interest:

  • The feeding of the hawks
  • Preening
  • Feather fiesta!
  • “Migration: It’s Not Just For Hawks”
  • “Does Your Husband Know That Your Children Have Been Raised as Hawks? 15 Foolproof Ways to Make Him Forget”
  • Prayer
  • Claws that rend the flesh from the bone. Claws that are made to tear. Not our weak, human fingers. No. Claws that are weapons—weapons that must be respected.
  • “How To Make A Nest (With Mr. Beaky)”
  • A memorial for those who have fallen in the service of the Fraternity.
  • I know I speak for all of us here at the Institute when I say that your attendance at Hawktoberfest would not only be appreciated. It is expected. Indeed, Mr. Kensington, your charity and tactful sense of discretion has thoroughly impressed this Institute’s most-powerful proponents, including such esteemed trustees as Dr. Matthias Goodwin, Lord Herrington, Valkor the Disgorger, Mr. Beaky, and Derrick McMannus the Feathered One (as well as my many, various human colleagues who, of course, rank far lower in the hierarchy of this organization). As we both know, hawks—the hollow-boned angel that God is too cowardly to grant the power of speech—deserve our utmost praise and adulation. And, with the coming of Hawktoberfest, soon this praise will be duly and honorably doled out.

    At your earliest convenience, please RSVP to this letter in the usual fashion (hawk-messenger).

    Yours in eternal brotherhood,

    Phillip “Phil” Hendricks IV, Hawk Enthusiast & Current President of the Phillip Hendricks Institute of Ornithological Fraternity.

    Dan Caprera is from Denver. A recent English major from Princeton, his work has been featured by The Daily Mail, Lonely Planet, The A.V. Club, McSweeney’s, Uproxx, The Chive, Golf Digest, 9News Denver, Mic, ShortList, and BroBible. He is mostly happy.

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