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A warm feeling for a wild bird
Ikuma Dan
October 02, 1961
Ikuma Dan, author of this appealing tale of an unusual adventure with a wild kite of Japan, is one of his country's foremost composers, creator of the background music for the well-known films "Samurai" and "Ricksha-Man. "His story first appeared in the newspaper "Mainichi"
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October 02, 1961

A Warm Feeling For A Wild Bird

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From then on every day, except the days when I had to go to Tokyo on my work, the kite and I played our little game. By the time summer was over, the kite was flying low circles over my house exactly at 10:30 every morning. According to other members of my family, the kite invariably appeared on days when I was absent, but when any one of them came out with the intention of feeding the bird, the kite flew away.

In this way, friendship between myself and the kite became very close. Eventually, I didn't have to throw the meat. The bird would cleverly take it right out of my hand. On days when I went out into the garden before the kite appeared, I would whistle, imitating the bird's call, and wave my arm in wide circles. The bird would suddenly come flying swiftly in, either from high above or from the woods on the nearby hills. Occasionally the bird would alight on my head or shoulder. Even when I gently stroked its breast feathers it seemed to trust me. Frequently, when I sat on the big rocks on the seashore fishing, the kite would watch me. And when I gave it some small fish, it devoured them eagerly.

Strangely, the kite failed to appear when December came around. But in March of the following year it turned up again daily.

Nature is full of mysteries. I know no reason why friendship should have blossomed between me and this particular kite. I don't know where the bird winters from December to March and I know nothing about its family. The only thing I know is that between the bird and me there exists a warm feeling. Call it affection or friendship.

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