From:   shan lung <shanlung9@y...> 
Date:  Mon Apr 21, 2003  10:41 pm
Subject:  Tinkerbell Free Flight Report 3 of 3

I woke up early on Sunday morning. It was so
beautiful with crystal clear sky. I could only wish
that Saturday morning the day before had such clear
sky. Looking at the empty cage, I knew there will be
no way I can get another Grey or any other of that
kind.

I studied the maps of that area marking out what other
likely areas that I may need to cover. I took note of
schools and kindergardens that I will cover with the
posters relying on the school catchment area will
cover any parts that I may have missed out.

I needed to rely on other eyes to help me. With all
the posters, and the small town cohesiveness, I rely
also that anyone who may want to keep Tinkerbell will
be known by all in his community to be keeping what is
not his. In my grassroots door to door, they got to
know what she meant to me the same way you all know
what she is to me.

The burning sun did not deterred us from our ceaseless
riding up and down the country roads calling for her.

We went to schools and temples and other strategic
places to put up posters. Over twenty color posters
and 30 black and white posters went up with many
fliers as well.

People in those areas got to know me better than they
know their local politician and they anxiously asked
of our progress in the hunt.

In the afternoon after an hour rest back at home, I
decided on a new strategy. 

We will go back to that flight area with books and we
will read there just in case Tink may be searching for
us while we were off searching for her.

I then got a call on my mobile phone.

A kid rang up saying that he heard Tinkerbell had been
found and captured during the morning. But the person
who caught it love her very much and is likely to keep
it. He refused to tell me where Tink was kept saying
that it was not him

A big weight went off my shoulder and the sun started
to shine for me again. At least I knew then Tink is
alive. Somehow, I was not too worried at getting her
back. My calls to that phone got an adult who denied
he knew of any bird.

I went to that area to trace down the boy. Seeing a
group of people who knew me from my earlier searches,
I approached them with my problem. The leader looked
at the phone number recorded in my hand phone and
exclaimed he knows which house that came from. He
paved the way and jumped on his bike to guide me to
that house. That was an area missed out by me but
near the heart of my main search focus.

That family turned out to be rather nice people afraid
of being embroiled in any touchy issues. With the
information from them this time, that leader went on
ahead of me to the house where Tink was kept. He came
back to take me there.

They again turned out to be very nice as well. 
Apparently, Tinkerbell was found by the younger
brother up a nearby tree and he climbed up to get her
down. The younger brother was away and coincidently,
was taking part in the major temple festival that I
had wanted to go to and will be back only in the
evening.

I was happy to follow the norms as I know Tinkerbell
will be returned to me and went back again to see them
late in the afternoon.

I got away with more than just Tink. After an hour
drinking with them, they forced me to leave with a
bottle of their best home made plum wine and their
special homemade wine soaked plums with Tinkerbell.

On returning home, I had a good look at Tinkerbell. 
She seemed ok but she has a wound on the head between
the eye and the nostril.

If you can get back to 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/shanlung/sets/689829/
you can see that in a close
up of her after she got home late Sunday night.

That wound look like a peck mark.

If you all recalled, Tink was looked after by my
friend Duff when I went for a long holiday down under.
Duff kept pigeons and Tink may have thought the
pigeons that she tried to join are friends. She may
have got pecked and Tink did abruptly veered away from
them. She may have been so dazed and frightened that
she just went off and away thereby making me age 2
years in those two days.

I really do not know.

If this report have caused you undue anguish, some 
apologies are offered.

But I do want to make a very strong point that free
flight is risky and must never be done nonchalantly.

God knows! I went about it in a very careful and
methodical way. And yet I nearly lost Tinkerbell. 
Whatever your careful plans, never forget Murphy is
standing by your elbow at all times.

I may have been worried if hawks or eagles were
around. But pigeons?

Then again, that may not be why she went away. Tink
cannot tell me at this stage and I really do not know.

This series of letters came to you in between work and
home. We just got home after two hours going around
on the bike and tearing down the wanted posters. We
took a picture of one of those Tink color photos and
I added it to the end of that Webshot folder.

Tink will free fly again but that is not going to be
soon.

I will be doing a lot more training with Tink and that
will involve clicker training of retrieve and other
stuff. Where I perceived to be my faults and what I
do about that will be detailed later in my next mail
'In retrospect', the same way I did after my semi
freeflights.

Again, I solicit the opinions of one and all to shine
clearly on the cracks and flaws so that the idiot that
is me can learn and not age more than is necessary.





=====
With warmest regards

Shanlung
Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter
www.flickr.com
Tinkerbell shanlung's Tinkerbell photoset
www.flickr.com