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The Wounded Falcon by J. P. Barnett - HTML preview

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© Copyright 2007 – J P Barnett CONTENTS



You are about to embark on an adventure in which YOU are the main character. The Choices that you make as you read will determine your ultimate success or failure.

All you need to start this adventure is a pencil. You also have a Parchment to record your progress as you read.
Each Choices short story only has one path that leads to success; all the others lead to failure. How long will it take you to find that correct path?


You will start the adventure with no equipment at all. It is likely, however, that you will find some items during your travels. You should record any such items under the “List of Equipment” on your Parchment.


There is a notes box on your Parchment, which you can use to record any particularly useful piece of information that you may come across during your adventure.

Parting Comments

As you read, you will soon realise that you should not read the pages/paragraphs in numerical order. It is essential that you only read the paragraphs the book asks you to read. Reading other sections will deprive you of the excitement and surprise you would otherwise experience while reading this book.

I hope you enjoy this adventure


J P Barnett II

List of Equipment

Okay girl, let’s go,” you whisper to

your falcon, Huntress. You emit her learned ‘take-off-and-hunt’ whistle, gently thrust your arm skyward and she complies. She soars into the air and begins to circle the lake, her sharp eyes scanning the clear water for a quarry.

Your father has sent you away with Huntress to search for some fish for tea. Your falcon is an accomplished and well-trained bird of prey. You normally use her to capture fish, rabbits and sometimes pigeons.

Watching her from the lake edge for a couple of minutes, it appears that she has not seen a likely kill. You decide that you will direct her to a different section of the lake to continue the hunt.

If you want to follow the lake edge around to If you want to follow the lake edge around to
If you want to follow the lake edge around to If you want to follow the lake edge around to

asking Huntress to stay with you. As you start to slowly walk around the lake edge to the north, she adjusts her flight pattern so that she stays near to where you are.

After a short while you stop walking and whistle to your falcon to look for prey again. Sitting down on a nearby boulder, you carefully watch her for the next few minutes.

Suddenly, you hear a shriek from above and behind you. Jumping up and spinning around, you see the shape of a large EAGLE heading straight for Huntress. The eagle is much larger and stronger than your falcon; Huntress would be no match for it.

Huntress has already spotted her foe and is taking evasive action. What will you do?
If you whistle to Huntress, instructing her to If you whistle to Huntress, instructing her to
If you decide to do nothing and let Huntress If you decide to do nothing and let Huntress

asking Huntress to stay with you. As you start to slowly walk around the lake edge to the south, she adjusts her flight pattern so that she stays near to where you are.

After a short while you notice your falcon briefly hesitate; it seems she has spotted something down below. She lets herself fall and commences an intense dive to the surface of the lake. Her talons striking the water with deadly force, she emerges with her prize; a brown trout.

You whistle again, requesting Huntress to return to you. Being well trained and obedient, she complies immediately.

obedient, she complies immediately.

H untress attempts to return to you, but is cut off by the eagle in mid-flight. Its talons pierce deep into her flesh and she shrieks in pain.

“NO!!!” you yell.

The eagle lets loose its grip on your falcon and she spirals like a corkscrew to the surface of the lake. She hits it with a splash, over one-hundred metres from the shore. The eagle does not pursue her any further, but instead, continues out to the middle of the lake, obviously satisfied that it has dealt with its intruder.

With tears in your eyes, you rip away your pouch that holds Huntress’ food and dive into the cold water, heading straight for your fallen bird.

your fallen bird.

T he chase between the two has left the lake. They have both flown behind you and are now over a large cliff face that overlooks the stretch of water. Occasionally the massive wall of rock in front of you obscures your view of the birds, thus, you need to move back and crane your neck upwards to see what is happening.

So far, Huntress has successfully avoided the eagle but you wonder for how much longer. Desperate, you scan the ground and find a small rock nearby. You think about the possibility of throwing it at the eagle to scare it off. Better still, you may strike it down. Is it worth the risk, however? You could hit Huntress!

If you want to take the rock and throw it at If you want to take the rock and throw it at
If you decide that it is too risky, If you decide that it is too risky,

Good girl!” you say to Huntress as she returns with the trout. You place the fish in your small wooden bucket of water nearby and your falcon settles back upon your forearm. Record the brown trout under your List of Equipment on your parchment.

Opening your leather pouch hanging from your hip, you produce a morsel of rabbit meat for Huntress as a reward. She quickly gobbles it down.

“Only one more to go girl!”

You repeat your whistle from before and she takes to the skies once again.
After a few minutes of flying, Huntress has not yet found a second fish. You decide that you need to move to another area of the lake and see if you have better success there.

lake and see if you have better success there.

A fter you have swum about half the distance required, you notice a shape in the water up ahead; it appears to be a snake! It is not heading straight for you, or Huntress, but if you continue onward, your paths will cross before you reach your wounded falcon.

You stop, tread water and look closely at the creature as it swims. The reptile does not appear to possess a thick body. This makes it more likely that it is not a python of some sort, but there is a risk that the snake may be poisonous.

Huntress is splashing around, obviously in great distress. You must make your next decision quickly.

If you decide to wait until the snake has If you decide to wait until the snake has
If you continue to swim towards Huntress If you continue to swim towards Huntress

Y ou bend down and pick up the rock. It feels heavy enough in your hand to do some major damage if it strikes the eagle.
Unfortunately, though, it is capable of causing great harm to your falcon if your throw is not on target.

Looking up, you carefully watch the two birds in flight, waiting for the right moment. Just as Huntress rises sharply, in her efforts to evade the eagle, her pursuer is a little slow to follow her movements. Seizing the chance, you quickly take aim and hurl the rock as hard as you can at the hostile nuisance.

It is your choice. Turn to page -10-, -12- or -14- to see the result of your throw

T he snake keeps moving along its path, seemingly oblivious to you and Huntress. You cannot believe that this is truly the case, though.

Unfortunately, your suspicions are confirmed when the reptile takes a sudden change in direction. It is now heading directly towards your falcon!

You wave your arms frantically and yell at the top of your voice. The snake does not alter its course. As a last resort you start splashing the water with your hands but your attempt to distract the threat to Huntress’ life is unsuccessful; it continues, unhindered, quickly reaching your falcon.

In her weakened state, Huntress is unable to put up much resistance. The serpent bites her once…twice…three times. It is all over for her.

T he rock flies through the air, missing everything. Angry with yourself, you quickly look around for another projectile to throw but the eagle is nearly upon Huntress. Your heart begins to feel sick as you realise you may have missed your only chance to save her.

ou decide to take a risk and continue

towards your bird, keeping an eye upon the snake while you progress. It isn’t long before the creature changes course slightly and commences heading directly for you. As it nears, a feeling of dread starts to settle over you as you realise that the odds are against you defeating this animal in water.

Just as it is nearly upon you, the serpent dives down into the lake, making it more difficult to locate. You lose sight of it for a moment but that is all that the snake needs. Once you spot it again it is too late. The deadly reptile bites you on your right leg and then does so again…and again. Its bite is poisonous and your valiant (but foolish) attempt to rescue Huntress has failed.

D isaster! Your aim was terrible! The rock strikes Huntress in the side of the head. She and the rock drop to the ground with a dull thud. Both will never move by themselves again.


O nce again, the eagle and the falcon drop down low enough so that you cannot see them due to the cliff face in front of you.

Just then, though, you hear a shriek. It sounds like Huntress! A few moments later your fears are realised as the eagle reappears. It soars over your head and continues on behind you, leaving the scene. It is obviously satisfied that it has dealt with its intruder.

There is no sign of Huntress, however. She is probably lying wounded (or dead) at the top of the cliff. You must hurry!

the top of the cliff. You must hurry!

J ust as you step forward and release the rock, you place your right foot upon a slippery, moss covered boulder. Your foot comes out from under you and you fall to the ground heavily, smashing your head on the boulder you stepped on. The blow is hard enough to render you unconscious. Huntress will have to survive the eagle’s attack by herself now.


T he cliff face is roughly ten metres high and quite rocky. You could scale it
successfully but must keep your wits about you; it looks like a very difficult task.

You scan the area and notice that the face continues for another half a mile to the west until it reaches a point where there is a natural path leading from the base of the cliff to the summit. At the top, though, you see the edge of a thick forest that you will need to travel briefly through in order to get to Huntress on the other side.

The cliff appears to continue for many miles to the east so you know that it would be a waste of time to walk in that direction.

If you decide to scale the cliff face, If you decide to scale the cliff face,
If you decide to take the long way around via If you decide to take the long way around via

Y ou begin the arduous climb. It is slow going and you nearly slip a couple of times, but you manage to make steady progress.

More than half-way up the cliff face, you stop when you hear a shrieking sound in the distance. You first think it is Huntress above you, calling out for help, but you soon ascertain that the noise is coming from behind you.

Turning your head, you are surprised to see the EAGLE has returned and is swooping towards you. Panicking, you try to avoid it, but in doing so, lose your balance and fall away from your footholds.


Y ou gather your belongings and set off along the west edge of the cliff face at a slow jog; the cliff stands to your right and the lakeside is on your left.

A few minutes later, as you are nearing the path that leads you to the top of the cliff face and the dense forest that is there, your eye catches sight of an object glinting in the late afternoon sun near the shore of the lake. It looks like something silver in colour.

If you wish to investigate the object, turn to If you wish to investigate the object, turn to
If you wish to ignore it and hurry along, If you wish to ignore it and hurry along,

A s you step towards the item, your single-minded focus on it causes you to fail to notice the pothole in front of you. Your left foot lands awkwardly inside it and you twist your ankle rather badly, landing heavily on the ground in doing so. Record that you have a twisted ankle under your Notes section on your parchment.

Looking upon the object a second time, you are disheartened to realise that the glint is only a trick of the sunlight; there is no silver article whatsoever.

Frustrated at your failure to stay focused on the task at hand, you crudely wrap your ankle in some material that was in your leather pouch. After resting for a few minutes, you set off once again. You hope that Huntress is still okay.

Go on to the next page.

F inally reaching the trail that snakes its way to the forest on the top of the cliff, you find that the journey onward is quite
straightforward. In a matter of minutes you are at the summit.

Surveying the scene, you see that the wooded area extends right to the edge of the cliff. Knotted branches and the occasional tree trunk protrude over the precipice. This makes it impossible to skirt around the forest; you must travel through it.

Fortunately the path winding up the cliff face continues into the forest and it is this direction that you choose to follow now. Hopefully it won’t be long until you come across another route leading to the east so you can exit this gloomy place.

can exit this gloomy place.

T he forest is very quiet and dark, even during daytime. The twisted, thick trees, packed together closely, block out much of the sunlight from above.

The path you are on continues to the north and doesn’t seem to change direction, although it is difficult to see too far forward in the darkness. You need to travel east as soon as possible to get out of here so you can search for Huntress.

If you wish to continue following the path to If you wish to continue following the path to

If you wish to leave the path and push your way east through the thick trees, way east through the thick trees,

T he injury sustained to your ankle has left you helpless. There is no way you can escape the bear in your condition and you are soon caught.


Y our patience is finally rewarded as you arrive at a junction. The path continues to the north but branches away to the east as well. To the west, you also briefly notice the entrance to a large cave.

You are not concerned with the cave as you are now sure that it won’t be too long before you are out of the forest. This soon changes, though, when you hear a low rumble coming from the cave, followed by a huge growl.

You stop in your tracks and fearfully look towards the location of the noise. Out of the cave emerges a BLACK BEAR. It is quite angry that you have trespassed and it lumbers in your direction with terrifying speed. You turn and flee down the east trail as fast as you can.

as fast as you can.
If not, go on to the next page.

Y ou do your best to outrun the bear, but it is slowly making up ground and is
determined to catch you. Even if you reach the edge of the forest in time, the bear will most likely continue to pursue you anyway. You must try something else!

If you wish to try climbing the nearest tree, If you wish to try climbing the nearest tree,

If you want to try using an item of equipment that you have collected along the equipment that you have collected along the

L eaving the path, you press through the trees and slowly proceed in an easterly course. This proves to be a much more demanding proposition than you first envisaged, however. The branches and twigs that seem to entangle you with each step, cut and score the unprotected parts of your body. Furthermore, you are finding it difficult to head in what you think is the right direction. Unfortunately, you are soon lost.

You contemplate turning around but decide to continue on. You hope that it won’t be long before you are out of the forest. Your thoughts are proved to be correct, but not how you imagined.

Seeing a flicker of light ahead, you force your way through the last of the trees and emerge from them…into thin air! You have ended up inadvertently travelling south back towards the cliff face and allowed yourself to step across the precipice of a ten metre fall. Your adventure is over.


You run to the nearest tree and start climbing. You hope to be out of reach of the bear by the time he arrives. Unfortunately, you do not move quickly enough.


A s you flee, you think of something that you may have that could help you in this situation.

If you have a brown trout, go on to the next page.
If you do not have a brown trout, If you do not have a brown trout,

Y our bucket stills contains your brown trout! Why didn’t you think of this earlier! While still running, you grab the trout and hurl it over your shoulder. It has the desired effect. The bear stops and sniffs the fish. Continuing to run, you turn your head and see the bear pick up its prize with its mouth and walk back to its cave. You have escaped!

Looking forward you start to slow down as you observe that you are about to exit the forest! Hopefully Huntress is not too far away.


N ow out of the forest, you observe the edge of the cliff a little way to the south. Knowing that Huntress should be close to the edge you walk back there and continue in a westerly direction, following the cliff’s edge.

After a few minutes of walking, your heart leaps as you discover your falcon lying on the ground, looking the worse for wear. Running to her, you pick her up carefully and ascertain that she has a broken wing but apart from that, she ought to be fine.

Gazing over the horizon to the south, you see your residence about a mile or two away. Once you arrive, you and your father can tend to her injury. As far as your tea is concerned, you may have to settle for rabbit tonight.

One thing you are certain of, though. You won’t be returning through the forest to get home! You know the remainder of this area well, however, so you are content in understanding that Huntress will be safe.

If you enjoyed this mini----gamebook, you can look for future
mini----gamebook adventures on my
blogsite at

Also, stay tuned on my blogsite for the official release of my first full---length adventure gamebook, “Invitation to a Feast”, to beast”, to be released sometime in 2007.

Regards J.P.Barnett

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