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A very special school

?#060;/span>28 June 2004

 

I mentioned in the past that I took Tinkerbell after I got back from work to a school a few minutes walk from my apartment.? With the growing familiarity of? me and Tinkerbell, the kids tend to gather around me to watch sometimes crowding into us as Tink and I go about our flights.?Other groups also use the school grounds playing baseball, basketball, riding on bicycles and jogging around.

 

As Tinkerbell took to flying greater and greater distances in recalls, I had to look for more suitable areas to take her to.

 

Even the parks are getting less suitable for me and Tinkerbell.?People do not just walk their dog there.?People have brought pack of?unleashed dogs.?When they stop to watch me do recalls, their dogs watched with different interests.?That made me paranoid enough to walk to Tink to get her back on my shoulder to try our luck elsewhere.

 

About 2 weeks ago, I?restarted riding my mountain bike in the evening in my own battle of the bulge.?The slow cycling allowed more time to observe things and places.?I noticed this big school next to one of the parks that I got frustrated in.?

 

That school was just five minutes away by motorbike.?After work the next day, I took Tink over on my bike.?That was a special school for mentally disadvantaged kids.?The ground was so much bigger than the school I normally go to with Tink.?Other than those who worked there, there were only Tinkerbell and I.?As I took Tinkerbell through her routines,?Ms Chang, a teacher there was fascinated by it all and showed me around that school.?I thought the area in front of the school was big, but the back of the school was even bigger with ecological garden and park and playing fields, and only the three of us.

 

When she asked if I could show Tinkerbell to the kids, I gladly accepted as I have a soft spot for those special people.? There were about a hundred of them staying in the dormitory and they were in the common room just before their dinner when I reached there.?They were all thrilled by Tinkerbell.?Their love and their gentleness made me feel very good about talking to them of parrots, of greys and the life of Tinkerbell.?

 

Tinkerbell must have sensed that they are different and her gentleness to them in return was astounding to me.?To those that wanted, Tinkerbell perched on their hand or on their shoulders without a single rejection from Tinkerbell. This is in sharp contrast to other groups where Tink may refuse to go to about half of them, or take off immediately to come straight back to me.?In addition, Tinkerbell chattered to them in soft chittering sounds that she normally made only to me.?I was so happy for her and for them she shared this aspect that she never gave anyone but me.

 

Then Tinkerbell was placed on tables and chairs to make her recalls to me.?All the kids were delighted to see her in flight even those that were keeping far away at the back.

 

I then showed them how to see the many photos of Tinkerbell on the Internet, including the many beautiful places in Taiwan that sadly, many of them may not be visiting ever.

 

They know Tinkerbell has her own webpage and I slowly translated one of my earlier letters into Chinese for them, encouraging them to try to learn English that they can follow other stories.

 

Sadly it was getting late and I had to go.

 

Then after my 4 days up in the Alishan mountains and the return of Joy, I showed her?that school ground.?The vast grounds allowed me to do recalls of greater distances than I dared to try in the old school.?Joy was also essential as Tink would not let me go further than 25 odd meters before launching herself at me.?With a proper size soccer pitch (unlike the mini field of that old primary school next to my apartment), and short trees at the perimeter, I placed Tink and left Joy with her as I measured off 100 paces or about 65 meters.?After a bit of initial reluctance, Tink took off and flew to me.?At the last few meters, she went up to 4 meters, hovered with a few wing flaps and dropped to my shoulder. ?#060;/span>Quite a few of these long distance recalls were made now.?It got to the point that I considered 15 meters to be short distance recall to warm up Tinkerbell as against the hop and flap of 2-3 meters as in the past.

 

I?was hoping that she would do that circling landing I talked about last time.? Perhaps she needed more time here to feel at home enough to do that.?

 

One of those times there, the kids were out doing some gardening works.?I believe that I and Tinkerbell were as delighted to see them as they were to see us.?Without exceptions, all those kids were so gentle and so glad to see the two of us that it is a pleasure to see more of them.?If happiness for them is to see Tinkerbell, I will do my best to allow that to happen.

 

That old school will see a lot less of us now and more of my new reports and photos will be on this new special school and her warm special students.

 

 

With warmest regards

Shanlung
Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter

earlier emails and photo links on Tink -
http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9