Tinkerbell – Prelude to end of this chapter
21 August 2004
My contract here in Taiwan is ending soon by mid Oct. In just a while more, life in this beautiful land, made truly magical for me by Tinkerbell, will be drawing to a close.
I have waited 35 years ever since I was fifteen to get a grey. Two and a half year ago, I decided to take the plunge and ever since Tinkerbell made eye contact with me, I knew she was mine. Some of you may have followed our chronicles and our traveling about in Taiwan and knew how much she meant to me. She made me suffer so much and taught me so much and filled our lives here with happiness like the kind I felt when I was in my early teens and the wonders and beauty of the world just unfold itself to me.
While I do know this date is coming, never had I expected it to be so poignant. I work and live in countries after countries. In the past, its just a matter of packing and moving off. This time we got Tinkerbell. Tinkerbell cannot be brought into Singapore because of avian flu in this region. Smuggling of her has such horrendous risk for her that I cannot do that. And beside that, I may get another contract elsewhere and have to go and live in yet another country Indirect transfer to Singapore offered by some of the kind people here offlist to me has its risks to Tink’s safety that I cannot take. Cost of any kind is utterly irrelevant to me. US$20k for Tink now will be money I will be prepared to pay. She is beyond price to me.
At any rate, the welfare and safety of Tinkerbell is paramount in my mind. Knowing that my time in Taiwan may come to an end, I have been preparing for over a year this coming moment.
When Tinkerbell spooked and was attacked by birds in her first true freeflight and flew off in the grey haze to the horizon, I was devastated beyond belief. She was taken in by a Mr Yu who returned her to me as related in my emails. After that first meeting and the rapport we had, I then looked on him as the next possible parront.
On the chance that Tinkerbell cannot come with me, I have been preparing Mr Yu and his family for about a year now to look after Tinkerbell. I let her stay over with him for a couple of days, a week, and then a month. We have been going out often together as you have read in the Rhino farm incident. Mr Yu and his family love Tink to distraction too. He learned of mash making, able to put harness on Tink and taking her out for walks and fully aware of the diet, physical and mental care of Tink. In short, other than for myself, I do believe he is next best qualified man to be guardian of Tinkerbell.
In my soul, I yearn for Tinkerbell to be with me. But if that is not to be, Tinkerbell interest and well being will be best met by letting her be with Yu family. I will be giving Yu all of Tinkerbell’s stuff including the motorbike that she is used to.
Yu told me he will keep her in trust for me. But in my mind, if I cannot find a place to bring Tinkerbell to be with me within a year, Tinkerbell may have bonded and it will be painful shame to Tink and Yu family to separate them. I cannot and will not do that to her. If Tink can join us at a later stage in another country, my wife will be flying back to Taiwan to arrange and take Tink to be with us again.
If I get Tink, I will get a young grey for Yu for them to have as their very own.
Zorro my ferret is the most loving and lickingest ferret and highly intelligent and a delight to me. He also cannot be brought to Singapore. One of Yu’s friend, and my friend too, love animals very much. He will be taking in Zorro.
Halftail the Bimbo is likely to be with us. I have thoughts of not separating them as Bim and the Zor are such good friends. If hurting is to be done, I rather the hurting be on myself then on them.
I still have a lot of leave left. We will be off next week with Tinkerbell at Green Island off the East coast of Taiwan, one of the most beautiful and idyllic island I been to. Then we will be going yet again to Taroko Gorge. I will be out of touch of the Internet.
I will write when I can, as long as Tinkerbell is still physically with me. She will remain for ever in my heart.
Please understand that it will be difficult for me to reply to everyone. I have major stories that I like to finish for you like my visit yet again to the Tsaoling Bird Whisperer and photos and tales of Tink taken earlier and yet to come.
When she is not with me, you understand it will be too painful even for me even to come to lurk in the lists not to talk about writing here.
But maybe there will come a day when you see “Hello folks” again from me. That will be the day when Tinkerbell is again with me once more.
With warmest regards
Shanlung - lackey to all below
Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter
Halftail the Bimbo - beautiful sweet silly cat
Zorro - ferret which loves parrot pellets
earlier emails and photo links on Tink -
(erratically and sporadically updated