L’Observateur : Free Bird Edition

In Austin, we used to call it “Free Bird,” but in Real de Catorce they call it “Patequé.”

The Patequé “cock” is the same principle as a badminton shuttlecock, except it’s made out of leather and rooster feathers. In France they make a version out of foam and plastic.

The game itself is like a cross between hacky sack and tennis and you can hit it with your palms or feet. It’s best played on a badminton-sized court.

Legend has it that Japanese soldiers stationed in Korea played this game to stay fit.

The other day my neighbor Francesco Bevenuti set up a net in his front yard. We played two-on-two for about three hours. The American team was vanquished 3-1 to a team comprised of an Italian and a Brazilian. We never had a chance.

Francesco and I have taken to calling this game “Cock Holder.”

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