November 3rd, 2006

Tinkerbell Interlude - Retraining the trainer

Tinkerbell Interlude - Retraining the trainer

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I am back in the I cafe again and into this journal at 1035pm!

Not earlier than last night. I cannot even blame notifying other groups.
But that lateness was most worthwhile. The last 2 hours were spend
with MeiMei, Yu's little daughter as I hold her hand leading her into
the Internet that was wired into their home PC that was part of Tinkerbell
dowry to them. I showed her how to set up the Zonealarm as firewall. Then
brought her into Flickr and Babelfish. Even the left mouse click and other

Then I got into here.

But let us start with this morning. The man in tuxedo woke me at 745am with no #$%%&
idiot handphone going off. I could chose a quieter place to sleep with proper beds. That
was always part of the option in the SanWenNuan (the far far superior Chinese type sauna).
Sleeping in the movie theatre in soft comfortable reclining armchairs with blankets meant
you could watch and doze off to the movies or soft porn shown. But which meant you might
have &^%&**( idiots with handphone in that same place.

After fully waking up with a dive into the swimming pool with waterfalls cascading into it, I
got to Yu place at 9 in morning. You need to be a man with iron discipline to forgo all that to rush
out 5 minutes after waking up.

That trip to Tsaoling was postponed to Monday as Sunday is going to be a major temple festival and
Saturday the preparations which meant Yu needed to be there as he is a senior in temple committee. Heck!
Shi, Wu and many of my friends in Chiayi are in that temple, and I probably accepted as an honarary member
in that committee with Tink more senior than me in that committee. Her sqwarks carried more weight than
all the chinese that I could say!

The weather was looking most uncertain when I rode to Yu house this morning. Sunshine and brilliant blue
sky at one part. But clouds and dark skies in the remaining 9 of ten parts. Riding high up the mountains
might turn mighty uncomfortable for me as Tink had option of ducking out into her carrier cage. So I thought
of going to BanTienYen instead for the day which is somewhat up but not quite all the way up the Alishan
mountain mastiff.

So when Yu said he would enjoy our company for chinese tea in his temple, I was quick to agree.

Being with Tink was all important to me and his company was great too. Plus the threat of clouds cowered
coward me. And some incidents of yesterday not fully reported.

The flight of Tink to me was less than ok with me together with her insipid response to the recall cues.
Especially one incident at RenYi Tang, the big reservoir at the bund end. I did not tug , but she flew
off in a huge loop over the downstream land side of bund and my recalls to get her to break from that loop
to get to me was heard by her, with partial break from her flyabout to me, but continued in loop away from
me. I was glad for the harness and leash then. Perhaps she might be frightened of kites flying in the area.

I recalled also conversations with Yu and seeing him served Her Grace hand and foot. He told me she never
flew to him, and I had seen him taking tea to Her Grace serving it to her beak. That they took food to her,
practically to her beak. She need not move an inch at all. And that she did not even take sunflower seeds
as I known in last trip and again in last couple of days.

I went with Tink to that Mee Ger breakfast place and proceeded to the temple. Many very traditional activities
were organised by that temple and all the key committee people known me. Emails to me were written and
send by that temple on Yu's behalf. I was very happy to donate NT$ 5K to that temple for peace for Planet Earth
and to pay my respects to the various deities in that temple.


Then Yu finished his business there and he was preparing traditional Chinese tea with a few others when
I joined them. I told him it was very important especially as Tinkerbell was flighted, that some very
fundamental behaviour must be established. The recall was an all important prerequisite and they knew
of what I had done with Yingshiong. If Tink was to be served such that she need not fly to people, she
would get into very bad habits not good for everyone. Since Tink loved the chinese tea so much, she
could jolly well fly to Yu to drink tea rather than Yu walking to Tink to drink. It was mandatory that
Yu stopped serving Tink.


So Tink was perched on the opposite row of chairs while Yu served the tea in little tea cups. We told
Tink to come to us for the tea and I stopped Yu from serving Tink. We could see Tink trembled in anticipation
of the tea, even into preflight posturing, but she did not come. I then decided to further encourage Tink
by moving her even further away to another table, within the sight of us and our enjoying tea but her
clearly out of the circle of enjoyment. Everytime she got into preflight posture, we urged her to come.

I continued to restrained Yu to stop him walking over to her to give her tea. I was not certain if I was right
or not. We went on in our enjoyment to Tink further distress at being left out.

Then Tink realised we were never going to give her tea, decided to fly to us, landing on Yu's shoulder.
He was deeply thrilled by that. Tea was offered to Tink that she drank goppling up that. I stopped
Yu from giving more. I told him rewards must be token in nature, to acknowledge the coming to cue
given , but not to satiation. I took Tink off to place on opposite chair about 7-8 feet away.

I told Yu to watch Tink for the preflight posturing, and give the come cue just before takeoff.
Yu enjoyed supremely that first flight of Tink to him and he was much more receptive to me now.

Yu gave that cue just at point of takeoff and Tink landed on him to get tea and beakrubs. I allowed Yu
to give Tink just a sip and I took Tink off to the chair. I told Yu that Tink must be given the chance
to fly to him for her physical health. I knew Yu took Tink welfare most seriously. The same was done
and recall cue given (in Chinese) and Tink came and Yu was hooked.

I told Yu he must take Tink himself to place on chair as what I had done. It did not matter that Yu used
Chinese. Most important was that recall cues were getting recemented into Tink to get Tink back
into old established mindset. Yu walked Tink to opposite chair, watched her body movement to avoid
devaluing his recall cues. No point to give cues when Tink preens herself. Yu did a couple more
very successful short recalls.

Then I got Yu to walk Tink to far table (about 10 meters away) to place her there. Tink took off
for him as he walked back getting him all excited and happy. I brought him down to earth that that
was a very bad recall as Tink flew to him prior to any recalls. Told him to watch her while walking
backwards. All this were done and practised and practised by me as you all had read in my earlier
letters on Tink in Part 1.

He walked back and signalled 'NO' to Tink when Tink postured to fly. He failed but he understood.

He tried again taking Tink back to table. Signalled and signalled like crazy to Tink to stop.

At this point, Tink flew to me landing on my shoulder. I saw her eyeing me. But what do you expect me
to do? I was only human and I love my Tink. I would not, and could not forced a signal onto her not
to come to me when deep deep in my heart I loved her so and gladly want her to come to me.

I was a lousy trainer trainer. So sue me!

With a smile on my face and an even bigger smile in my heart, I beak rubbed her and gave her a cup of tea.
We all agreed thats the end of the training, with Tink on my shoulder.

I was so sensitive to her there, her movements and her preenings. She had enough of tea but we went on to
brew and drink tea. In a while, I even sensed her quivering as her normal preshit posturing. I could not
bear to take her off my shoulder. I felt a warm flow down my back just as Yu said that better to take her
off as she might poop on me. So he was observanat too.

I told him I knew, and that I felt my tee shirt to be warm and wet.

Absolutely no fault of Tink as all of you would agree I chose it this way.

I then lectured him on the need to control her diet for her own good. Too much protein might not be good
for her and a slimmer bird would live longer.

We went for lunch at another of his friend's place. The hospitality and the easy flowing warmth of
friendship here cannot be believed even if I could described it.

Tink was placed 2 meters away. If she wanted lunch, she had to fly to us. No more of walking to serve Her Grace.
In a short while, she flew to my shoulder.

I controlled Tink lunch. Gave her all the carroty bits she could eat. Allowed her a nibble on sashimi.
Allowed rice in controlled quantity for her, with a nibble on a piece of chicken.

We talked and chatted and ate. Till 3 pm.

I then rode Tink to the Chiayi Park. The place where my wife Joy took that wonderful iconic photo of Tink
with her original Version 1 Tink harness with the chinese pavilion in background. I took more photos.

Then I walked her to the Confucious temple.

I checked her with a sunflower seed from the Tinkerbell treat box. I was so happy she took one, and dehusk and
ate it. She was placed and I moved 3 meters back, watched her and felt her readiness like old times, gave
cue and she came to me to beakrubs and sunflower seed.

I changed her position and repeated from 6 meters with TInk flying to me in military precision. That was done
at 10 meters and went so well. I then did it from 1 meter distance.


Followed by a break for her to bit and tear into my camera bag.

Then recalls made with her almost on ground to me. Then I moved further back, with hand signal to force her
to keep still until point of recall. Camera complained of low batteries. Small camera did not even had the
energy to complain.

I felt the impact of this morning training, that it got Tink back into the old habits that I built up with
her. She knew all the time! But was bullying poor Yu and family to wait on her like a bloody queen
without needing to stir at all.

One of the observers around me told me he saw me in the Internet photos. He was nicely surprised to see
me and Tink. He got Tink name card with Tinkerbell webpage to read more of us.

This morning showed her how much fun it was, like old times.

When it all ended and I told Yu she got to take sunflower seeds again, I opened the box to give her.

Strangely, she refused the sunflower seeds then.

At past midnight, good night to all of you.


If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.

Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

or to WWF or other conservation bodies of your choice

If you liked the photos of Tinkerbell and Taiwan, most of those photos were taken by Joy with my camera.

For even more photos of Tinkerbell and Taiwan, you should check out Joy's other folders in

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