Kite Making Time.
Though marble time can't always last,
Though time for spinning tops is past,
The winds of March blow kite time here,
And April fools' day, too draws near.
By Dan Beard
Kite making time begins with March, or used to when the writer was a
boy, in Cincinnati. Even the blustering March wind must be weaker in the Ohio
River Valley than here on the coast. If someone had imported an ordinary New
York kite into Ohio and shown it to the boys there they would have told him to
go and get a shingle and it would fly better, but now the author must modify his
judgment and admit that the heavy sticks and apparently careless pasting on the
Atlantic-coast kites are necessary to give them strength to brave the gales from
off the ocean. In place of the twine used in New York we flew our kites with
cotton thread, and it was only an extra large kite that required white cotton
string. The dainty tissue-paper covered kite, with its framework of delicate
match sticks that is used in the interior of our country, would be wrecked by
the first blast of the boisterous March wind on the coast.
Grave professors and men of dry scientific minds often take to
boys' sports in a heavy, ponderous fashion, and try to demonstrate some pet
theory of their own by means of the boys' playthings. Old Ben Franklin did not
think it beneath his dignity to fly a kite. Had Benjamin consulted the modern
American boy he would have been told not to use the European bow kite, but to
take the coffin-shaped or American hexagonal kite for his experiment, or one of
the tailless kites that have lately become so popular with grown-up scientific
Kite Making from Outdoor
It is a pleasant sensation to sit in the first spring sunshine and feel the
steady pull of a good kite upon the string, and watch its graceful movements as
it sways from side to side, ever ran mounting higher and higher, as if impatient
to free itself and soar away amid the clouds. The pleasure is, however, greatly
enhanced by the knowledge that the object skimming so bird-like and beautifully
through the air is a kite of your own manufacture.
I remember, when quite a small boy, building an immense man kite, seven feet
high. It was a gorgeous affair, with its brilliant red nose and checks, blue
coat, and striped trousers.
As you may imagine, I was nervous with anxiety and excitement to see it fly.
After several experimental trials to get the tail rightly balanced, and the
breast-band properly adjusted, and having procured the strongest twine with
which to fly it, I went to the river-bank for the grand event.
My man flew splendidly; he required no running, no hoisting, no jerking of
the string to assist him. I had only to stand on the high bank and let out the
string, and so fast did the twine pass through my hands that my fingers were
People began to stop and gaze at the strange sight, as my man rose higher and
higher, when, suddenly, my intense pride and enjoyment was changed into
something very like fright.
The twine was nearly all paid out, when I found that my man was stronger than
his master, and I could not hold him! Imagine, if you can, my dismay. I fancied
myself being pulled from the bank into the river, and skimming through the water
at lighting speed, even for, in my fright, the idea of letting go of the string
did not once occur to me. However, to my great relief, a man standing near came
to my assistance, just as the stick upon which the twine had been wound came
dancing up from, the ground toward my hands. So hard did my giant pull that even
the friend who had kindly come to the rescue had considerable trouble to hold
him in. The great kite, as it swung majestically about, high in the blue sky,
attracted quite a crowd of spectators, and I felt very grand at the success of
my newly invented flying-man; but my triumph was short-lived.
The tail made of rags was too heavy to bear its own weight, and, breaking off
near the kite, it fell to the ground, while my kite, freed from this load, shot
up like a rocket, then turned and came headlong down with such force, that
dashing through the branches of a thorny locust tree, it crashed to the ground,
a mass of broken sticks and tattered paper. Although the sad fate of my first
man-kite taught me to avoid building unmanageable giants, the experiment was, a
the whole, satisfactory, for it proved beyond a doubt that it is unnecessary to
follow the conventional form for a kite making so that it will fly.
Kite Making from American
Boy's Handy Book