Tinkerbell semi freeflight - 1

From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Mon Jan 13, 2003  1:15 pm
Subject:  Tinkerbell semi freeflight - 1 The report

We made our plans to fly Tinkerbell in the first floor
area of my office building to give her exposure to a
much bigger flight area and much higher enclosure than
what she gets at home.

We got her clicker, target sticks, sunflower seeds so
that my wife and I can send her back and forth from
us. We know her recall at home is good, at the
lessons that she initiate, recalls can be made almost
all the times and 'touch target' every time.

I got her harness on, pop her into that pink cat
carrier and took a cab for a 10 minutes ride back to
office which is closed on Saturday. The guard there
knew me and let us in at about 1 pm that Saturday 11
Jan 2003.

Inside that ground floor, I took Tink out . She was
shivering slightly but remained on my hand. Talking
to her softly, I walked her around the perimeter and
introduced her to the plate glass all around the
building. I stopped and tapped on the glass and let
her beak it.

My wife Joy then let her perch on arm to fly to me.
Being a much larger area, I stood 20 feet away and
gave her to cue to come to me. Not that it worked. I
reduced the distance and tried and tried until I was 4
feet away which still did not work.

She was then placed at a corner of a folded table
tennis table (called ttt for short) as I though
perhaps the comforting presence of my wife together
with her fear of new places made her refused to fly.
I then stood 30 feet away, and moved nearer trying all
the time to cue her to me. She was fidgeting all the
time with the harness that I then decide to remove.

I turned around to try recall from 20 feet. She
promptly flew straight up and up and up to perch on a
pipe high up in the ceiling.

I tried to recall her from her high perch flashing out
that target stick until I got to take a break 15
minutes later. Then thinking back to what I read of
this Aussie in freeflight that he thought he spooked
his bird by wearing a red sweater forcing him to run
barefoot over thorns and breaking into a community of
retirees before he got his charge back, I thought I
stripped off my jacket. Then I took off my sweat
shirt to be in T shirt she is familiar with. My
earlier confidence slowly ebbed away. I thought if
that's what she do to me if I try her at the Taipei
city hall, I will really be sunk.

She remained above. In that 20 more minutes trying to
get her down, I recall Larry Niven and his Ringworld
where a race of supremely intelligient ET beings
called Puppeteers happen to be the Universe greatest
bunch of cowards. I felt CAGs and my Tink may
challenge them for the title of being the Universe
cowards. Then I thought it not very fair to our CAGs.
They came from Africa with serval cats on ground and
eagles and hawks above and its their cowardice that
allowed them to still have offsprings now. In trouble
or in doubt, run for your life high high above! The
way she did it then.

Although Tink is fully flighted and flew regularly at
home, she got scared and responded to her fear by
flying up and up to that pipe. When up there, she
remained scared of the height and dare not fly down.
If a bird is trimmed, and she got blown up by
accident, it will be even more frightening for them to

I believe Tink got spooked by the new big place as I
would have if I am kept as a pet by an alien and then
placed into a vast and new environment.

I decided to use her cowardice to get her down. I
looked for something soft bearing in mind an
unfortunate episode when I was living in South Korea a
couple years ago working on their High Speed Rail. I
saw a big catfish on a stream below me and threw a
rock at it to see if it was alive. Knowing my aim is
bad, I decided to aim for the head thereby missing it
just to get it to move. To my horror, my aim that day
was perfect and that catfish never moved after that.

I found a piece of cardboard and frisbeed it up. Tink
flew down back to me to my relief.

I nearly want to call it quits , cut that traumatic
experience and just go home with her.

After a few minutes, I thought I give it a last try.
She was placed on that ttt corner again and I started
at 20 feet away. She refused to fly until I moved my
arm to a foot away. The she hopped and flapped over
to a big sigh of relief to her 12 inch flight.

She refused her treat, taking it and throwing to the
ground. Flight distance was increased to 4 feet and
more and more with her flying on cue to me. .

At greater distance, her first few landings on my arm
were painful forceful landings.

She could fly much faster than she ever could at home.
Her claws filed by me punched through my skin. It
took another 3-4 solid hard landings before she
controlled gentler landings.

I shifted her start point to a ladder which looked
down the room. She then got into the spirit , soaring
high above me , looping around the columns coming back
to me.

I ran and she raced me overhead calling her 'argh argh
argh' voice of triumph. My wife and I took turns to
do recall that she responded to. We stopped now and
then to let her have a drink and to rest 4-5 minutes.
She indulged in her curiosity to perch on high ledge
to look outside at the traffic. After a minute or
two, and when her eyes are back on me, I will give her
recall cue and she gets back to me.

After the initial 4-5 high flight runs, I noticed that
her flight to us became lower and lower, at hip level
to knee level.

I thought one last run for her but she refused to fly
down the hall to us. We walked back to her to her
absolute refusal to move from the ladder. Even when I
hold the target stick to her mouth to 'touch target' ,
she made no response.

We called it a day at that point around 330pm. My
earlier optimism is now tempered. I will semi freefly
Tink at least at another 3 different high ceiling big
areas before she go for a true free fly.

We walked to the Taipei city hall to take some
pictures to let you folks know how that looks like.

As Dr Sun Yat Sen Memorial was nearby, we took some
pictures there as well. With all the disagreement
between Taiwan and China, one thing they agree on is
that Dr Sun is the Father of modern China after the
dynasties of emperors.

I hope you enjoy the pictures and this account is of
some use to you folks.

Tinkerbell semi freeflight - 1

With warmest regards

Joy - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter
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closeup of Tink towards me