October 26th, 2005

Table manners

I just got to show you this photograph I taken when I visited David last Saturday. The rest of the photos I taken could not do justice to his shamas
and not shown.


He is just 4 1/2 months old at time of photo. Look at that tail, the overall
proportion and the head. That is the quality of shama David is breeding and
yet he is not satisfied and wanted even higher quality.

From his web, I known of the kind of pedigree shama he is breeding. When he
offered to give me one of his young male shama over the phone, it was with
a poignant pain when I turned down his incredible offer. When I saw with
my eyes the quality of his shama which transcend my imagination, my refusal was
even more painful.

If I have known personally David (known his reputation way before) and he
made his offer 3 weeks ago, or before Taufik did, my answer would have been a delirious yes!

But in a way, it is fated. There is this Chinese term 'yuan feng', with no
equivalent in English. A poor english approximation will be karmic affinity. It is just so that for better , or for worse, YingShiong entered my life.

And I am happy with YingShiong too.

A younger bird will be that much easier to train. But in a way, my having an older shama has its good points too. Tougher for me no doubt. But if I can
do with an older shama, it is possible for you to do with your older shama too.

And besides, you already have given much love and care for him and it will be
easier for you.

Of course, Taufik had taken very good care and given much love to his Precious
and now my Yingshiong. So likely, I am building on the foundation he set.

So this morning when I entered the flight room, YS was on the upper perch.

When I sat on my chair and sipped my coffee, he flew over like a dive bomber
and took up his perch next to me. I greeted him 'good morning', which he then
rudely reply with chair chair chair demanding his worms and beetles.

I ignored him and finished my breakfast first. You must understand digging
for white mealworms, and digging for beetles while eating my sandwich can
complicate my digestive system.

While I was getting some white mealworms and beetles, he got more impatient
and he flew down to the top of the table to scold me further. Not withstanding
his scolding, I thought that was wonderful. I love comfort. Twisting my body
to handfeed him on the perch was not comfortable. It was so much easier
when he was on the table right in front of me.

That table will later be the main training area too. So it was a nice surprise
he volunteered himself to be on that table.

A couple of hours after that, he got crickets, nicely zapped for him to tear
into in his cage. Interesting the way he got into his cage. He can now hover
like a humming bird, cute to see him hovering, and then darting off and hovering again. But he prefer to get to his cage by first landing on the edge
of the table nearest the open cage door and then flying in.

I also created a couple of small perches for use on the table. Small pieces
of wood for base, disposable chopsticks, silicone cement and cable ties made
it so easy to make those small perches.

That will be convenient later on when I start to weigh him to check on his
health when I start on a bit of food management for him. That perch can
be on the weighing machine, rather convenient. I also need the weighing
machine to formulate his diet now that I got the GNW beans, the last of the
many beans and peas. That will provide the required minerals, vitamins,
calcium together with high protein cat food.

And YS will eat that in one form or other. If he refused it directly, that
will be feed to crickets, beetles and mealworms to load their gut for YS.

It is strange where YS preferred to sleep. I deliberately created a dark space
shielded from light with nice perch just for him.

Maybe YS is a voyeur as he loved to sleep on the rope perch looking into the
living room and at me watching the TV, or maybe he wanted to watch TV himself.

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