A Very Efficient Simple Kite

by Tanya
(Yorkshire, UK)

When my little girl was three years old we bought her a simple kite (ram air) with the Teletubbies printed on it.

One fine but brisk day a family outing seemed in order to the local beach along with the kite and daughter and dogs. The kite was unfurled, handle attached to the line and a quick test (ok I dropped it and the wind grabbed it and pasted it to the sky) before it was handed to the little tot.

She held the handle and dutifully watched the dancing Teletubbies on what looked like a long thin stick before wandering along the beach searching for stones... not even shells but stones. The simple kite followed, suspended with no effort on her part what so ever. We watched with the glow of smug parents just to see a chubby little mitt relinquish the handle to better pick up a small boulder.

Amazingly, the kite skipped along the sand with barely a drop in height towards the waves. Cue wail of dispair from heartbroken child, oh and NOW she is watching the kite as it made its break for freedom.

I jog down the beach waiting for it to drop out of the sky so I can retrieve it. Nah! It kept on flying straight across the water....

You know those moments when half your brain says go on, go on and the other half says ... don't be a fool? Well I had that as I splashed into the waves to the sounds of sobs from daughter and "Mummy's going to get it" from husband. I guess the drag of the water on the handle was all the lift it needed, so it kept on out across the bay.

My jeans wet to the thigh, the handle just out of reach and a chilly British winter sea. I gave up. The simple kite flew across the bay to the opposite headland before it was too small to see. We went home with an inconsolable child, numb legs and a new appreciation of "simple" kites.

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