Richards began making relief constructions in 1934. This is an early example of one of those pieces. During the 1930s Richards's work was influenced by Surrealism; the abstract nature of this work shows the influence of both Surrealism and Cubism. Some critics have commented on the erotic subtext of the piece, interpreting the aggressively jagged 'beast' as female and the wide-eyed bird as male. Even without reading sexual references into the relief, the construction is both comic and sinister.