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From:  shan lung <shanlung9@y...>
Date:  Thu Dec 11, 2003  
Subject:  continuation of 'Bird whisperer of TsaoLing'.

Hi   folks.

So   sorry again that it took me so long to respond
until   you probably forgot what you wrote or asked me
about.   Its one of those things that work can bury
you   beyond your eyeballs that you have so little
energy   left that one can only lurk. I kind of
suspected   it which was why the last report I made was
a   day after those events at Tsaoling instead of my
usual   4-5 days after. I wrote about the key events
hoping   to continue the rest (which was an embarassment
to   me that you will see later) a couple of days later
which   stretches to 3 weeks now.

But   first, I thank all who wrote nice things about my
articles   and I am sorry I am unable to reply
individually   as I wanted to.

Tana   went one stage beyond expressing her opinion that
I   should be paid. That is a wonder to me as I am
thankful   enough that the owners of the three lists I
subscribed   to have been rather patient and not thrown
me   out yet. I have been a bit paranoid about being
chucked   out ever since a guy demanded to be un-subbed
just   after I send a long rambling letter much earlier
on.

Roberta   in CA wondered if I am not worried about
raptors.   For those not in freeflight, I can say a
high   percentage of the mails will be on raptors giving
us   warning enough. In addition, in Taiwan, the jungle
crows   are enormous and big eagles and kites are often
seen   drifting high above and there have been times I
decided   Tink go back into the travelling cage instead
of   riding on the handlebar. Not only that, I am even
paranoid   of pigeons and pigeon size birds as will be
clearer   in next few paragraph.

Jim   Dawson wondered why I not dispense with the
harness   altogether and let Tink fly free.

In   Tinks home page in my signature, you will find
accounts   of how Tink got to fly, and semi free fly in
big   building and finally getting to the vast open to
fly.   Have you seen your fid flying off to become a
grey   speck before disappearing in the haze? I have,
and   that feeling is undescripable.

During   that free flight, Tink joined up with what I
suspect   to be some pigeons after an initial spook and
one   of those pigeon size bird nearly pecked out
Tinkerbell's   eye. Tink flew off in panic. The world
from   that point became a surrealistic matrix where in
intense   inner pain, I did not have the luxury to feel
miserable   but have to struggle to marshall all I knew
to   hunt Tink back and where I aged ten years in that
couple   of days.

I   wrote half jokingly that Tinkerbell will fly free
only   if she can tell me in one hundred words why I
should   let her that my wife read. My wife planted
herself   firmly in front of that barn door now and
insist   she will decide if those hundred words are
sincere   and trusted enough before that harness can be
removed.

Taiwan   is also a hauntingly beautiful country with so
many   nooks and corner to immerse yourself in. I love
to   explore and I never will be in a place sufficiently
often   enough for Tinkerbell to be accustomed to. That
is a   prime requisite for free flying that will never
be   met and that provided she can convince my wife. (I
will   take that harness off if she tells me ' Daddy,
please   let me free fly' even if that is less than 100
words).

With   that harness on, Tink joins us in almost all our
explorations.   She is constantly exposed to new
environment   and people and is gaining the confidence
and   self-assurance that may prevent her from badly
spooking   in the future.

More   important, that harness will continue to keep
Tinkerbell   safe, especially from my stupidity as you
can   see!

But   back to the continuation of 'Bird whisperer of
TsaoLing'.


http://community.webshots.com/album/100497513NiNwYM


If   you look at the first photo and at about 10 oclock
from   that Zen temple, you can see faintly a bridge
near   the floor of the gorge. For an idea of scale,
that   bridge is about 400 meters long.

The   next morning, we decided to continue with as much
exploration   as is possible with half tank petrol, no
petrol   station, and a re-climb out over the mountain
passes.

As   we went down to that bridge, I saw a bypass little
road   that lead under that bridge to the floor of that
gorge.   It opened out into such a wide vista that I
thought   I try to induce Tink to do a harnessed
flyabout.

That   road lead to a track which lead to this shack in
the   middle of a big nowhere selling drinks to people
who   come along that way to yet more sights. I wasn't
interested   in the sights, and much more fascinated
that   without trees and in such a big area, I can
finally   try that 'fly fly fly' with Tink in the open.

Stopping   that bike, I took out that sawned off fishing
rod   I talked about, fitted the reel of line and walked
to   check out the area with Tink on my shoulder.

A   small little 2 year old toddler came and stick to me
like   a bloody limpet. When I placed Tink on a rock to
do a   simple recall, she walked over to Tink upsetting
me.   I got Tink to step up and tried another area to
be   followed by that little girl.

I   then got up on the bike to ride another 50 meters
away   but still the girl came.

I   looked in the distant to see what I saw as little
brooks   winding among cobble stones with a vast area of
pampas   grass before the mountain start to rise again.

Tinkerbell   was on my left arm with my right hand
holding   the reel holder. With the beauty and the
euphoria   of that place, I felt certain in my mind that
it   was time to try that flyabout.

With   that conviction, I look into the distant
visualising   Tinkerbell flight will take her in a long
loop   before descending back to me to give me a loving
nibble   on the ear.

I   rolled my left hand and told Tink ' fly fly fly'. I
was   gratified to see her take off and wing away with
powerful   beats. That reel holder worked like a charm
and   the reel just unrolled itself paying out the line.
I   transfered the holder to my left hand.

Tink   was getting smaller and smaller and I looked with
alarm   that the 100 M line was considerably diminished.
I   thought I better give some drag and decided to hold
the   line with my right hand.

It   was with some disquiet that Tink did not even
noticed   my holding the line continue to fly away.

Then   I felt something burning. The pain which hit my
finger   was so intense that I looked first to the
ground   expecting to see my finger joint to be there
twitching   away like a dropped off lizard tail. I then
looked   at my hand surprised to see that joint still
attached   to my finger.

The   scream I gave may have scared away everything that
can   fly. That was followed by the richest most
colorful   words of many languages in my vocabulary. But
apparently   that did not frighten that little girl who
looked   at me with eyes opened in astonishment.

Tink   may have been turning back, but in that
confusion   and pain, I grapped the reel, walked a step
and   stumble on a stone. My last view of Tink was that
she   was turning, line caught in a pampas grass, and
disappeared.

I   thought suddenly of wild cats, monitor lizards, T
Rexs   and all other carnivourous creatures real and
imagined   making their way to sweet succulent Tink.

The   brooks I saw turn out to be bloody rivers and
small   cobble stones turn out to be head size rocks I
got   to clamber and twist my feet and ankle on running
and   hopping to poor Tink in the middle of thick
overhead   pampas grass following the line.

With   Tink safely back on my shoulder and the line
wound   up, a much sorrier me went back to the bike and
left   that field of unmitigated disaster.

Again   with my infallible hindsight, I knew I did
everything   wrong.

'Fly   fly fly' as a cue was tried once only at home
unsucessfully.   Tink flew straight to her tower
instead   of circling the room that time.

Even   in normal routine flights at the school or
anywhere,   I always tested Tink with treat and short
2-5   meters recalls first.

Before   that, I always give her 5-10 minutes of
checking   around and getting use to that place.

I   forgot all of that! In my bloody euphoria at seeing
that   huge plain, I forgot Tink may have different
impressions.

I   never realised a 400 gram girl can pull a line that
hard.

I   let myself be spooked by a two year old toddler to
the   extent I forgot all the stuff I had been
pontificating   over here to pay a price of a burned
finger   and free education of that little girl of all
the   swear and curse words of at least 3 languages.

Luckily,   Tink was on harness and will remain to be as
a   reminder of my own inate stupidity.

'Fly   fly fly' will not be attempted again in the open
until   I get Tink to do that flyabout at home.

On   that note, I still continued with that 'fly fly
fly'   which Tink interpret as doing more and more
fantastic   flying aerobics at home. She does anything
from   two twisty circuit of the room, flying a round,
reversing   her direction to fly another round, zooming
me   and winging me softly, flying to corner to dart up
and   dived down as if drawing a twisted Klien bottle to
circle   the room.

Her   cued 'fly fly fly' from my hand still have her
going   in a bloody straight line to the stupid parrot
tower.

I   thought I finish that episode for the record.

This   coming weekend is lenghtened by time off on
Monday   and Tuesday and should see us in a hotspring
complex   at ChiPeng on the East coast of Taiwan.
Provided   that place still exist after the 6.6 Richter
earthquake   that struck that area yesterday at noon.
Enough   of that energy went through the massive
mountain   range to hit Chiayi with a 4 Richter.

No   lack of excitment in Taiwan :-)






With   warmest regards
Shanlung
Joy   - wife, Tinkerbell - CAG & surrogate daughter

earlier   emails and photo links on Tink -

http://www.geocities.com/shanlung9