Thursday, June 14, 2012
Beware the Killer Kite
I couldn't have set up a better gag if I had tried.
R was out for the evening and it was a bit windy, so I took the kids down to the dollar store to buy some kites, which we then took to the soccer fields near our house. Trying to keep two cheap kites in the air when working with a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old felt like a juggling routine.
First I put Scott's kite together and let him start flying it. By the time I had put Katie's kite together, Scott had crashed his kite and somehow the flimsy little dowel across the middle had broken. I left him with Katie and got some duct tape from the car to fix the dowel and gave it to him. Once his kite was back in the air, Katie came to me with no kite and tears in her eyes.
She had let go of her string and her kite had drifted off the field down the hill by some houses. I had just arrived at the crash site when I heard screaming. Scott was running towards me, holding an empty reel in his hand and pointing up at the sky. Apparently, the string was not tied to the reel, so it just floated away when he let it all out. Fortunately, the kite was headed right over me, so I chased down the string and stopped the kite just short of crashing on the roof of a house. I told Scott to go down the hill and help Katie retrieve her kite and worked at tying the string to the reel.
It took me a minute to tie the knots, since the kite was tugging away at me the whole time, but Scott and Katie still hadn't appeared back up the hill. It would take forever to reel all the string back in and there was no way to bring the soaring kite back down very quickly, so I just looped it around a big bolt sticking out of the top of the soccer goal and let it fly while I ran over to help the kids. It turns out that they had hopelessly tangled themselves in the string of Katie's kite.
I worked Scott's ankles free of the string and was working on Katie when Scott started howling again. Apparently, he had spotted a dog. We were still down the hill a bit and out of sight, but Scott had gone up higher and spotted a man quite a ways off walking his dog across the soccer fields. I reassured Scott that he would be safe near me and kept one eye on the man (I could just see the top 1/3 of him over the crest of the hill) while I kept reeling in Katie's string, in which Scott had gotten tangled again in his panic.
Scott's kite was about 100 feet in the air and the man with the dog had not noticed it at all as he walked across the field. For some reason which I can't explain -- except perhaps that it was a one-dollar kite held together with duct tape -- Scott's kite suddenly started falling from the sky ... and then it crashed almost right on top of the man. I couldn't help but laugh out loud at his shocked reaction. He did a startled jump. Then he quickly looked up in the sky, back down at the kite and then all around the field. We were still down the hill by a fence and essentially out of sight, so I doubt that he even saw us.
Basically, this man must have felt he was attacked by a rogue kite which dove down on him from nowhere. I wonder what he told his family when he got home.
Posted by D