Nontheless, I took Tink out with me on the motorbike in that harness. The leash was the same of course.
The lack of that little loop that is just below the loop for the head meant the body strap is not locked in place allowing that to slide up . May not be too comfortable for Tinkerbell. It may also slide down which is not safe either. But I got much better things to enjoy than to worry about those nuances of harness. The harness looked adequate to keep her safe if she ever spooked. I had no intentions of long flights with her at any rate. With the day a bit sunny, and with Tinkerbell on the bike in front of me, I had the day to enjoy. I also thought that with my years in Chiayi city, I never had holiday in Chiayi city itself as holidays were spend during those times in other parts of Taiwan.
With the recent rains cutting many of the mountain roads, I might as well enjoy myself within Chiayi itself. We had our first lunch together. Knowing that she loved noodles, that determined my choice of lunch of beef noodle soup so that she could get her noodles.
We then headed to LangTang, a reservoir on the outskirt of Chiayi city that I spend quite a few weekend hours in the past.
That might have been the same place, but the difference of a weekday from a weekend was a different world apart. During the weekends before, every few minutes, a different group of people will be trooping down the path and onto the platform by the lakeshore where we seat.
This time, we had that place almost all to ourselves. A quiet place to rediscover ourselves. Not that it was all that quiet. It was a windy day with stiff gusting blows from time to time. Since that place was surrounded by tall bamboo groves and trees, we were sheltered from the winds. However the big bamboo stems rubbed against each other giving loud creaking sounds. That alternate with branches shaking overhead almost identical to the ' fup fup fup fup' sound of Tinkerbell wing beats as she flew to me.
The times in the past when I thought of her presence together with me came into reality and with a deep sweet satisfaction. I placed her on the bannister of the platform that she was on my eye level as I sat down on the bench. I then heard a loud snoring noise. I turned around to see a man seating facing away from me on a fence bannister. I was at peace with the world and it would not have mattered to me at all if a thousand people surrounded us at that time. But I just thought it incredible that guy can sleep seating up on a precarious balance on that fence. He then reached his hand behind his back and scratched his back with yet that incredible loud snoring noise. I thought it to be amazing that he could sleep, snored and scratch his back all at the same time. Then it struck me the snoring noise was not made by him but by some bamboo stems in addition to the creaking noises that they made. Those sounds were so amazingly like human that if that guy was not there, I would have thought an invisible guy was sleeping around us instead of all those silly rationalizations that I made.
I then got back to Tinkerbell and ourselves at that moment. As happy as I was that we were together again, it was not possible, and neither did I tried to just look sweetly at her all the time. Even more sor as she was not looking at me and busily preening herself. A book I read in the past took 46 pages to described the Om of the Buddist prayer of Om Mani Padme Hum. I am a lesser author and I cannot find 46 words to describe a ball of grey preening herself, and I will nto even try.
It was enough that we were together. I continued to read a book I bought "We were soldiers once.. And yound", a book on a major epdisode of the Vietname war that I picked up in the airport. I guess that was prompted by no other good books to buy as well as a renewed interest in the Vietnam war rekindled by my trip in Laos.
It was just like before in the past. I read a bit in a nice place comforted just by the presence of Tinkerbell. Not that I was trying to relive the past, but it was natural to us, her preening away and I eventually tire of looking at her and then proceed to bury my nose in a book.
Then after a while, to stretch my limbs, I walked a bit with Tinkerbell's eye on me. I initiated a short recall of 4 meters. Perhaps I pick good timing but she immediately responded. It was spiritually satisfying for me to do it ust between the two of us. In the past, there were always audience there. I then felt obligated and eager to get her to respond maybe to show off her, but basically for the audience. That afternoon, it was just the two of us (that guy moved off long ago). I kept all the recalls short, partly because of my disatisfaction with Yu's harness and partly I just enjoyed being with her. She did not accept the sunflower seeds as treat , bowing her head for head rubs with soft chirpings. Maybe she just wanted to do those recalls and happy in her own way just as I was happy in my own way to really be with each other again.
Then she was placed back on the bannister to the sounds of creaking and groaning and snoring of bamboo stems and periodic fup fup fup fup of the branch overhead. That afternoon passed on in that fashion until it was time for me to ride back to Yu's house. He had a meeting to attend to in the temple. Tinkerbell was left in his home and I was dropped by the cybercafe to write whatever I could that you read yesteday.
After dinner, we went on Shi family house where Zorro was kept. In a short while, Wu and wife came over with Halftail in her carrier. Shi showed me Zorro. Zorro was molting. He readily came into my arms and stayed there looking at me straight on without the "huh huh huh" sounds that he normally made. He turned his body towards Shi and I handed him back. The way he was hold by Shi told me in loud volume that Zorro was loved by that family. And the obvious pleasure of Zorro at being given head scratches made me very happy for him that he is with that family. Beer was brought out and familiar tales of Zorro and his habits were told to me. Then more and more fresh nuances of Zorro and his living with Shi family, way beyond my knowledge of him with me. But at those times, you knew the dominance and jealousy of TInkerbell kept me from developing a deep relationship with poor Zorro. That revelations gave me a depth of Zorro that was much deeper than what I suspected of him. I felt a tremendous debt of gratitude to Shi of the enrichment of my wonderful Zorro who was the very first of the creatures that came to us.
When Wu came over with Halftail in carrier and released her, she immediatly hid in the underspace of a table so close to the ground that you cannot expect a white mouse to slip inside. HT proceeded to give such plaintive meows like her heart was rent apart. What I heard earlier of HT the Bimbo dominance I thought must have been exaggerated with such cowardly performance. I laid flat on the floor to drag her out to see how she was like. She looked so sweet and stupidly at me that I mentally thought that Bimbo suffix I added to her name was so appropriate. She then jumped off to hid progressively under a chair and then under the car in the front garage. Zorro was freed to renew acquaintance with that Bim as we did not know were Bim was but I knew Zorro would. They did remember each other. I was just not sure if with fondness or that the Bim was too cowardly.
As the evening drew on, Bim was asserting herself more and more as she became more comfortable in that surrounding. Then more and more was described of her being the queen of Wu's house and dogs. It was not just the beer and wine that flowed, or maybe it was, but Bim was moe and more regal that night. She walked around as if she owned that house. I felt so good for Bim and so sorry for the way Tinkerebll dominated her in the past. I was so happy Bim was given her current position which might have been hers but for Tinkerbell.
More and more strange wine was proudly produced by Wu. One was good for skin being made with a series of exotic herbs and another wine good for the bones with even more strange herbs. I asked about a wine I seen sold in Taiwan mountains with buge hornest marinated inside. To the laughters of the guys , I was informed that was touted as the herbal Viagra equivalent.
To my disquiet, Shi then expound the belief that wine made from tiger bones can be particularly effective decribing the process that was made in complete sincerity. I have a very deep interest in conservation of creatures in the wild and of tigers knowing of the horrendous slaughter of tigers in the wild. From documentaries, I know that tiger bones were a prized commodity that is directly linked to the alarming massacre of tigers. Not that I think Shi is responsible even indirectly. He is the messenger bearing the message and not the cause of evil tidings. After I heard his very sensitive obsevations of Zorro indicating how close he can be to creatures, it was rather painful.
But the way he stated the process as such a matter of fact that it was so chillingly scary that there is such a firm folk tale belief about tiger bones that only a very sustained and strong campaign to disprove tiger (or any bones or parts of any wild animals) must be waged. He said that wine will be very expensive which was even more frightening to me. Such value meant even greater financial incentives for the poachers and organizers of such slaughter.
Or the slaughter to extinction of tigers will be only a matter of time regardless of the protection that we try to extend to them. It will be a much poorer world for all of us even if that is done in the backyards of other people leaving us only with tigers or other creatures living only in zooz or just our memories.