Well, it seemed like a great idea at the time. Go to the park and fly kites. The breeze was pretty brisk in DC today, and the nearby soccer field wasn’t in use, so a great opportunity to get the kites into the air.
Oh, and did I mention the tall trees lining one side of the soccer field? I’ll get to those in a moment.
My granddaughter was having some trouble getting her smaller kite into the air, so her dad helped her get the larger kite up. She was doing great. She got it up so high she was at the end of the string, and both the kite and my granddaughter were proud and happy. I was meanwhile doing my best to get her little one to fly, but did I mention I suck at flying kites?
This next part wasn’t my fault at all, though. Really, it was the wind’s fault. The wind and physics. The pull of the kite got so strong that it pulled the handle of the string holder right out of my granddaughter’s hand. My son took off after the handle as it scooted along the grass. But he wasn’t fast enough.
One of the trees lining the field was plenty fast though. It snatched up the yellow handle of the kite’s string holder, and zip, pulled it about twenty feet up into the branches (okay, the wind pulled it, not the tree). Next thing you know, the tree is flying the kite, not us. Nor did the tree seem inclined to give the kite back.
So, now the conundrum. How do we unhook the handle from the tree branch without losing the whole thing, kite, string, and all? Luckily, along came a man who’d come to walk his dog and we conscripted him onto the CSI: Kite Rescue Edition team. With his help, we tossed the other kite’s string over the branch where the yellow handle was caught. Unfortunately, although we could jiggle the branch, we couldn’t get the yellow handle to work free.
Then I noticed a few PVC poles with soccer flags on one end and a metal stake on the other. With the assistance of the dog walker, we cobbled together three poles and by pulling the branch lower with the other string, we got the yellow handle free. Unfortunately, the rest of the string was still caught in the tree.
So now we were controlling the kite, more or less, but further unfortunately, we apparently couldn’t fly the kite as well as the tree could. The kite stuttered in the sky, then gave up the ghost, falling into a tree across the street. We were about to go over and ask the homeowner to give us a call when the kite fell when I suggested we cut the string so we could get it out of the tree.
Once the tension in the string was gone, the kite started sliding out of the tree. By the time we ran across the street, the kite had fallen on the roof of a neighboring house. While we watched, it slowly slid down the roof into my son’s hand.
At that point, I think the kite said, “I meant to do that.” It might have even snickered a little about how well the tree had kept it in the air. Although it did admit my granddaughter had done a pretty good job flying it too.
It took a while to reel in all that string. As we headed home we pretty much laughed all the way.
The kite wasn’t the least bit apologetic.