Sunday, 14 July 2013

Flight of Fancy

via Wikimedia Commons
It was early morning on the farm and the workers were busy packing fruit for the midday shipment before the heat of the afternoon sun. It was hard and heavy work stacking the crates into the truck. There was a packing shed where the shipments were closed up before they were passed on to the first in a string of workers that made up the supply chain for the delivery. Each worker would walk a short distance to hand off the crate to the next. As they walked, they kicked up the undergrowth beneath their feet and tiny clusters of flies would be disturbed along the path. This was a great place to find an easy meal and a bit of a hidden adventure for a group of dragonflies that enjoyed the game of weaving in and around the slow-movers.

This was Mandisa’s first time out accompanying the slow-moving animals that disturbed the little flying insects that would be her morning meal. Neo, who was a regular adventurer, had invited her along with some of the others. He had lured her in with his thrilling stories about diving through the packing shed and zigzagging through the supply chain that were the slow-movers. She had only just recently met Neo and his friends, but had specifically taken a shine to him and was quite flattered to have been invited along for the morning’s escapade! When they arrived to the site Neo told Mandisa to stay close to him. He would show her around the place and essentially teach her the rules of the game. They sat together on a nearby branch on the edge of the plantation as Neo described the surroundings and the course that should be followed to ensure a great hunt.

As Neo described in detail all of the directions to Mandisa, she sat in awestruck excitement at the thought of beginning this thrilling chase. She always enjoyed a good hunt and this new site for a foraging game that Neo had brought her to was abundant with exhilarating feats of flying prowess and narrow escapes.

“Now, Mandisa” said Neo “watch me as I go through the sequence and then meet me at the packing shed.”

Mandisa was always ready to take on a challenge and this new game was nothing different. She had had narrow escapes in the past but she was known as one to chase a quest. She reluctantly stood on the branch and waited to watch Neo go through the sequence of the course. She was eager just to jump in, but he knew better, he’d done this before and rather than take haste she thought maybe she should take a moment to experience the chase through sight before taking it on through flight!

In a flash, Neo burst through the opening of the packing shed rising up above the slow-movers before he dove down behind them and followed just inches from them as they sauntered along the path… Then, without warning he veered to the left and Mandisa could see he was clutching a wriggling fly before he quickly devoured it in mid -flight. Her wings twitched with excitement as he shot the right and resumed the pursuit of the slow-movers. As he snaked through their legs, he made his way along the supply chain and hovered for a moment motioning to Mandisa to meet him back at the shed.
She was so flooded with the anticipation that her flickering wings beat so fast that her legs nearly didn’t have the chance to fully let go of the branch before she rose to the air. She hung above the branch for the briefest moment before whizzing forward to meet up with Neo at the shed!

As she soared through the air she could not contain her enthusiasm. She rose to heights and dove down at staggering speeds before coming to a pause and hovering gracefully in a way that made her feel like everything around her was standing still. The whirr of her wings was all that she could concentrate on when Neo playfully darted behind her.

 “C’mon Mandisa! I’ll make it there before you!”

She quickly snapped out of her momentary trance and quickened her flight to catch up with Neo. They flew side by side before splitting their paths just before meeting the front of the shed and raced at either side to meet up at the other end. They were completely in sync and arrived together as though they were a mirror image of the other and softly landed on the pile of bright green tubes that the slow-movers were placing in the crates.  

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