Tinkerbell was left with me by Yu before he continued to his factory. A short while later, I left with her on my bike. It was a cloudy day with clear threats of rain. I did not wish to travel too far, but thought a pavilion on a small mountain that I enjoyed going to, and where I spend that last afternoon with Tinkerbell before I left might be a good place to go to. That place was known as BanTienYien, or "Halfway to Sky rock".
I dropped by to see Yu in his factory as that was five minutes away by bike and along the way to where I wanted to go to. While Tink was left perched on the handle of one of the many rattan baskets that went with her and other stuff as her dowery, it rained. I felt glad I stopped by.
I hanged around watching Yu doing his aluminium castings from the molten aluminium into the sand molds that was prepared. If the rain continued, I would have been perfectly satisfied to stay in his small factory with Tink and just chat away.
But an hour later, the rain stopped. I prepared to go off with Tink. Then Yu reminded me of the previous night where in that tea drinking session, he saw the sequential flight shots of Tink. He liked a series to be made of him. I was delighted to do so, and show you folks. Like an added assurance that Tink was happy enough with him to come at his recalls.
I looked outside the factory which had fields of pineapples and rice around it and with the Alishan mountain masiffs on the horizon. I decided on a nice angle for the camera and positioned Tink and Yu accordingly. That would have been a short 8 meters recall so that flight could be captured on camera from beginning to end. I stood somewhat behind Yu at an angle or 30 degrees of that flight path and told him to proceed with recall. His wife was directed to be in front of Tink and us to talk to her to prevent premature takeoffs.
Perhaps it was the occasion and English not his language but he recognised that certain cues like 'step up' and 'come here' should be continued in that language.
Mrs Yu was directed away and recall sequence started. Yu got excited and started calling 'come here , come here' from the word go even though Tink was looking around , up and down. I then explained to him to relax, just keep talking to Tink in chinese as he liked, and until her eyes were on him, then give the recall cue of 'come here'. I was really glad I was there to further coach him and help that relationship between Tink and him grow even further.
We then tried that again. Mrs Yu was asked to move away. He spoke to Tink while she looked around. When she looked over at him, quivering slightly as to take off, he gave that recall cue.
I was pleased and started the camera sequential shots action following Tink flight upwards happy I got the nice background as well. Then I saw Tink not following the flight path as I envisaged and going higher. I turned my camera to try to follow her flight and was failing that.
I then realised that she was not heading to Yu but was heading to me and a few moments later, I knew she circled above my head and then I felt her landing on my shoulder. Honestly I never expected that. I had not the slightest tinge of disappointment that carefully planned series of shots was ruined. I had this immense delight deep inside me that Tinkerbell came to me isntead of him.
I turned to look at both of them. I was touched that instead of chagrined looks on their face, both of them were smiling so broadly at that flight of Tink to me instead of to him.They were happy and so touched by that choice of Tinkerbell. I in my turn, was so happy that they are the guardians and caregivers of Tinkerbell. I did not know about Tinkerbell, but the 3 of us humans were very delighted in our own ways of that little episode.
We knew we have many days ahead of us to do that again. But I thought I continue on my planned travels with Tink that day.
We rode off. With the sky changing again after a while, I thought I better changed my plan and head to RenYi Tang reservoir a bit before that BanTienYien and before the climb up the mountain.
I reached the reservoir pavilion just in time to take shelter from the rain which hit us again.
No regrets at the rain or anything whatsoever as I prepared to sit out hopefully for better weather later.
This trip is the first trip I ever made for the specific purpose of being with an entity be them human or otherwise that I truly care about. All other trips had been made to places, and if friends happened to be there, yes, I drop by to see them again with delight.
And I was with her. What more can I ask for. Yes, I know you think I can ask for much more. Maybe so in the imaginary world. But this is the real world that we all live in. I be contented with what I have then to make myself miserable for what I like but do not have. None of you can disagree that she was not with a great family even if she was not with me.
It was a tiny drizzle. So I thought I walked out a bit beyond the pavilion to let her do some recalls. I put my hand up to my shoulder to ask her to step up. She knew she had to step up on hand to be placed prior to recalls. She looked at me and positioned her body away. Of course, I knew that she was not very happy. And of course, in my stupidity, I thought if you ignore something enough, your will could be imposed (not withstanding my telling you guys to pay attention to their reactions). Though she edged away from me, I pushed my hand towards her with what I thought with an authoratative woice of "step up".
She then immediately flew right up about a couple of feet above my shoulder, hovered there a couple of seconds and dropped onto my other shoulder. Man! She aint taking no shit from me! In no clearer language, she told me recalls were a bad idea when she was in no mood for that. I thought of Zorro and the Bim and how they developed after being relased from Tink dominance. Heck! I imagine dominating those two were nothing to Tink at all as she clearly dominated me and Yu as well.
We went back to the pavilion. She decided her perch on that line release holder was not as good as my shoulder and flew to preen herself. I got out that book I was still reading. Periodically, I raised my hand to give her head rubs and she continued to work on her version of manicure for me. My nails were gone. My quick under the nails were also going. I recalled the night before I could not shampoo my hair properly. The tip of my fingers hurt like crazy and the shampoo stung them. Subsequently later that day, I found I could not pull the pull top off a drink can and I needed to flip that open with a key. I am sure it amuse you folks that my recording of this journal now had to be done with the ball of my fingers and not the tip of the fingers.
But I still had no heart not to allow her to do what she liked to do. As the drizzle intensified, I found I really needed to let my quick grew back. I really missed my wife who normally took charge of logistics and with many distractions for Tink to chew, including herself.
She tried to snatch my pack of ciggies. I foisted an empty box for her. To my delight, she seemed entranced by that empty box and proceeded to shred it into tiny bits. I kicked myself for throwing away 4 empty boxes that morning as she was nearing the end of the box. I dug in my bag for chewable. I regreted not taking all the junk advertisment stuff thrusted into my hands. She then appeared to be satisfied with the instructions that came along with the medications. In that book I was reading "We were soldiers once.. And young", I noticed the photo pages were repeated three times. As she ended that page of instruction and just as I was preparing to tear off one set of that photo pages, the rain stopped.
With great relief, I took Tink out to fly. The road on top of the dam was excellent. She was periodically placed and recalled as I walked down.
I kept those recalls short at about 15 meters or so.
Perhaps she felt I pussy footed with her.
Then at one recall, she flew towards me, lifted herself two meters above me and continued with powerful beats of her wings. Even though I knew that was not a spook flight, my heart caught in my throat as I turned around to follow her flight.
The reel spun on releasing more line with a high pitch whine. I watched on with awe and happiness and a tinge of fear and pride as she rose higher and higher as well.
Then at 70 meters away and maybe 15 meters above me, she banked in a wide circle and headed back. I reeled in the line like crazy to minimize possible snagging. Her altitude dropped and it was clear that she was definately coming back to me. All traces of fear left me and I was so happy to watch her winging back and gliding to me over the last 4 meters.
It was getting late and we headed back to Yu's house. Tink was left at home in her cage while we all went out for that Karoka.