The Illustration Friday Topic is 'Lost' this week.
I already had an image in my portfolio that I felt summed up Lost; the Runaway Dragon , which i've posted below. However , I wanted to do something else for the theme.
Initially i was thinking of quickly doing something like being shipwrecked ona desert island but i thought this was a bit of cliché and i wanted to stretch the topic.
Then i thought about doing some keys or similar essential item that always seems to get lost no matter how organised the person is.
The keys idea made me think of jewellery and rings and losing things by theft. This made me think of jackdaws, which have the reputation of being very 'light-beaked' and fond of glittery things.
Jackdaws were often used in Victorian tales where something valuable went missing and low and behold the culprit was a jackdaw and not the wrongly accused skivvy. One famous gothic poem with the theiving jackdaw theme is the Jackdaw of Rheims, by Thomas Ingoldsby (penname of R.H. Barham.)
The illustration below is the jackdaw with a stolen ring - he's a little bit scruffy but not in the final sorry state of the Jackdaw of Rheims.
When i was young , my gran used to call them 'thieving jackdaws' all the time and for a while i thought 'thieving' was part of the name , like pied wagtail.
Jackdaws Corvus monedula are members of the crow family and like other crows can be taught to 'talk'. They are quite intelligent birds and they are very attracted to shiny things which gives rise to their reputation for theft.
Jackdaws used to be fond of living in chimneys which is why they were on hand to steal from humans. Bird authorities say that their reputation is undeserved and that no jewellery has been found in jackdaw's nests -however their reputation as thieves lingers on.