The dangers of kite flying

I have been a kite flyer for a long time. In Pakistan it was dangerous at this kiteflying event. Not to turn you off kiteflying, but I think people do think of it as a serene thing to do. Certainly never dangerous. While reading the article linked above, I began thinking of the dangers of kite flying.

Years ago I heard a story of a man who was walking down his very large kite, which was tied down. When he was about 60 feet up the line, but on the ground, the wind kicked up and so did he – straight up, hanging on the rope. Yes, I said rope ~ it was a huge kite and flew from a rope. I remember seeing this guy fly now and then. So, he slid down the rope and got some serious rope burns. He had to go to a hospital for treatment.

My dangerous kiting events never occurred while flying ~ they were rescuing events. In my early kiting days, my kite-partner and I occasionally got a kite caught in a tree. I remember one time I was with a Catholic friend and I was in a tree going higher and higher. I kept saying, “this is it, I’m not going any higher.” A few minutes, later I’d say, “this is really it, I’m not going any higher!” This went on for quite awhile. What stands out about this rescue is my friend saying Hail Marys as I climbed and using my teeth to hang on to the branches so my hands were free for untangling string. I got the kite out.

Another, dangerous and lengthy event, involved a favorite kite (Agatha) getting caught in a tree several houses away from where we were flying ~ the kite got away. We climbed the tree and couldn’t get the kite out. I remember it being very windy and being up in that tree hanging on with my teeth (again, I needed my hands for the string). I remember the tree swinging from one end of the house to the other. Finally, we asked for permission to cut a branch and were told no and to stay out of her tree! We did for about two months. It was torture ~ our beloved Agatha in a tree! Finally, we called the woman, determined she wasn’t home, and went with a friend (for a lookout) to rescue Agatha. We climbed that tree with a saw. We cut a branch and we rescued our kite. My kiting partner has Agatha now. She was a little torn and slightly faded, but flew just fine. It was a dangerous rescue and probably a little criminal. If you’re in my family and you have kids, you don’t need to tell them about this.

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