Jess

(pl. Jesses). A short strap of leather tied about the legs of a hawk to hold it on the fist, Hence a bond of affection, etc.

If I prove her haggard,
Though that ber jesses were my dear heart-strings,
I'd whistle her off.

Shakespeare: Othello, iii. 8.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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