An old man and his broken string Wayward kite eludes novice flyer

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.”
Kurt Vonnegut

The  man above (Paul) struggling to gather up his loose bits of string after a kiting disaster this past weekend reminds me of Santiago the main character in Ernest Hemmingway’s , “The old man and the sea” who in the novella  came so close to catching the elusive marlin despite his every valiant effort to succeed.

In this situation loosely re titled, “the old man and the string” the gentleman in question planned his afternoon outing for about one hour before launching his kite.

“The wind picked up nicely and the weather not too warm…a pleasant afternoon to go about doing such an activity” he told me.

This was his “very first attempt” at kite flying. “I noticed the children in the school yard flying their kites and I wanted to try that for myself” he said.

His intent and attempt to fly were honorable but the wind became so strong that the string anchoring the kite broke and landed it in a nearby tree after which an updraft sent it crashing to the ground not in the school yard but on a public street.

He said he ran to where the kite finally landed but its balsa frame was broken beyond repair.

“The wood holding it together was shattered and the plastic material was ripped apart making it unable to fly” he said.

When I first noticed him along the side of the road gathering his string I did not see his kite. He told me that he threw it in a nearby trash bin and was now salvaging the string that was scattered higgledy-piggledy about the street and adjacent lawns.

Was this unfortunate incident going to dissuade him from tying to fly a kite in the future? “No way” he said and added that he “now knows what not to do when flying a kite alone.” 

“Kite flying is a team sport and you really do need a co pilot there to help you out of a jam” he said.

He told me that he is looking forward to the next sunny day to once again try his hand at the sport.


About gc (661 Articles)
Quote of the week: "If you think of yourselves as helpless and ineffectual, it is certain that you will create a despotic government to be your master. The wise despot, therefore, maintains among his subjects a popular sense that they are helpless and ineffectual.-- Frank Herbert quotes .

8 Comments on An old man and his broken string Wayward kite eludes novice flyer

  1. I enjoyed this story. It reminded me of when my kids were in grade school. We did kites a school yard. At first is was store-bought, then it was home-brew. With five kids we needed affordable kites. We ended up using lath and heavy plastic sheets. The largest one we launched stood seven feet on it’s tail. It was fun, and I’d do it again.

    Thanks for renewing the memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are very welcome. The kite flying episode reminded me of my many unsuccessful attempts to fly my home brew versions. I never placed enough ballast on the tail of the kite and so when the wind shifted it took an immediate nose dive. Still, it was good fun and I would do it again. Enjoy the day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love kites. I once asked a first date to go fly a kite with me. There was no second date…ha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is too bad. Flying kites, throwing Frisbees and a vigorous round of badminton are enjoyable. I take it you did not go kite flying ? Oh well. Take care. Enjoy the day. 🙂


      • Yes, we did…on the hill above my house, but I guess he didn’t find it as exhilerating as I did. Ha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That was entirely his fault not yours. Many adults sacrifice their childlike curiosity to maintain an adult façade that prevents them from experiencing some of life’s simpler pleasures.

        To me kite flying is a personal adventure. It creates hand and eye co ordination sessions, binds the flyer more intimately to the ecology and is good fun.

        You don’t have to be Benjamin Franklin to enjoy the moment. I am glad you had an enjoyable experience. Thank you for sharing. Enjoy the day. 🙂


  3. Sadly, I have never tried flying the kites but always love seeing the kites flying. It was a popular game in Indonesia when I was a kid, but usually boys who played it, we are the girls just watched 🙂


    • That is sad Indah. But you can still gather a number of female friends and plan a day of kite flying. You’re never too old to try something new, exciting and challenging. The idea might sound intimidating but when you actually start to do this it will be great fun. Thank you for your thoughts. Enjoy the day. 🙂


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