Saturday, 27 July 2013

It's in the dance

They sat for a moment while Mandisa looked around the inside of the packing shed. She watched as the workers sorted through the fruit and quickly packed it in the crates. As the sun grew stronger, it pierced through the slates of the wooden walls and cast blinding highlights across the dimly lit sorting stations.  Beams of light flickered across the scene in a quick and rhythmic dance as the workers kept their steady pace. The interplay between shadow and sunlight cast what seemed like choreographed silhouettes foreshadowing the morning ballet that Mandisa had been so eagerly awaiting…   

“So are you ready?” asked Neo.

“Am I ready?” Mandisa responded cheerfully.

“Okay, then… Follow closely!” and like a bolt from the blue Neo was off!

Mandisa was in hot pursuit of Neo, but he was so fast and a far more experienced flyer! She quickly dashed forward with the phased-stroking and the ‘clap-and-fling’ of her wings, using both techniques to generate the lift that she needed and thrust to catch up with Neo. As she carefully alternated each of her strokes with the calculated twisting between the supination and pronation of the ends of her wings, Mandisa quickly gained momentum. Neo was aware of her effort and began to synchronise his stroking until his wings halted their careful beats and fell into an updraft glide so that she could catch up and join in the pulse of his aeronautical adventure.

“Well hello again!” said Neo once more as they met up side by side.

“Hello…” responded Mandisa coyly.

“So, shall we race to the end of the slow-movers?” ask Neo in his ever so charming tone.

Mandisa, besotted with Neo even before he had asked her to join in the morning’s adventure, hesitated out of shyness.

“Well, come on then!” said Neo playfully tempting her.

She then excitedly joined in his good-natured rivalry “Alright then…On your mark, set…” she called out, and before shouting ‘go’ she was off!


But it wasn’t long before Neo caught up and appeared right in front of her in a masterful stunt combining asymmetric wing strokes which spun him on his axis and into a free glide bringing him face to face with Mandisa. He hovered for a moment and began reflecting her forward motion in his own backward counter-stroking flight before dropping off in another synchronised stroke to the left. As he rushed back up, he circled Mandisa before racing off into the chain of swaying legs and arms of the workers. With a quick clap-and-fling, she charged forward and regained her momentum as she followed closely behind Neo.

As they glided through the legs of the first worker and shot up to the right, they flipped on their axes and twisted their way up between the tight opening of the next worker’s arm and the crate he was holding.

Although she was a novice in this game of Neo’s, Mandisa was an exceptional tracker. However, her curiousity and naiveté was something that Neo had not accounted for as he continued along unaware that he had lost his pursuer. Mandisa’s curiousity often got the better of her, and in this moment, as she breached the tunnel between the worker’s arm and his crate she came face-to-face with the slow-mover and could not resist a closer inspection. She glided toward the orbs of the giant being and gently darted from side to side and swayed back as the slow-mover took its labouring steps toward her. At that moment, Neo sensed the loss of his partner and as he retraced his flight caught sight of the giant being’s arm rising up to swat Mandisa out of the way.


“Mandisa move!” shouted Neo as he darted towards her.

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