The Giant Bat – Part 3
Nigel sighed, “Well….sort of.”
Finn sat on his haunches on the grass, and Rubbish and Jeffrey copied him. “You’d better start at the beginning.”
Nigel explained how with the help of Morris and Gilbert the owl he had built a set of wings and learnt to fly. He had had some initial issues with his non-aerodynamic shape and poor overall fitness but he had overcome these difficulties by applied engineering and mathematics and had been quite successful. He was surprised that no-one had seen him flying in daylight. He had become the world’s first flying sheep. Morris and Gilbert had worked hard to build the wings. The next challenge had been to master night flying (as he was less likely to get funny looks or complaints from the farmer or his family).
Gilbert had designed night-vision goggles, which were powered by a system of pulleys, pumps and valves by the sheep’s back legs. The visibility had been good but the valves and pumps made loud screeching noise. The owl had suggested some light engine oil might solve it but they had not had time to sort that out before their test flights. They flew anyway.
The evening before he had lost height and he was trying to get into a thermal of hot air to lift him upwards so he had headed towards the bonfire. It was going well until he was hit in the face by a blast of very bright light which had dazzled him, then a spark set light to his left wing. He had called out to Morris and had made an emergency landing in the ploughed field.
“Fortunately the only thing dented was his pride,” the blackbird grinned.
Finn and Rubbish were amazed (though it took more than a flying sheep to amaze Jeffrey) and they were very keen to see the flying suit. They took them over to the old sheep shelter across the filed. It had been abandoned when the farmer built a new one nearer the big oak tree. Nigel and Morris had fixed the leaky roof with the assistance of two hippie foxes who had helped them acquire the materials required for the flying suit (but that’s another story!). The shed had become ‘Mission Control’.
The suit consisted of two large flapping canvas wings and a tail – a bit like a hang-glider. There were a series of cables, pipes and springs too, which made the flying suit look most extraordinary. Jeffrey in particular (who loved his technology) was really impressed with the design and could not help making sketches and taking notes and measurements. Finn could see the old cat having a go at making his own version; the thought of the old moggie with wings didn’t fill him with confidence!
“I’m hoping to get the suit fixed and be flying again tomorrow night,” the sheep told them.
Morris added, “Aye – should be easily fixable. I’ve got a patch up kit and ‘Hat’ has got me some gaffer tape.” (Hat was one of the foxes).
“I need to do these night flights as I want to see how the goggles work,” the sheep told them.
“Gilbert reckons we could make our fortunes if we copyrighted the design,” Morris grinned.
Finn had an idea. “You know that you have terrified the local coven of witches, don’t you?”
Nigel was amazed. “You’re joking?”
The deerhound shook his head, “I have asked them politely to keep the noise down and stop scaring the animals but they have just ignored me. Hallowe’en is in two night’s time.”
Nigel and Morris looked at each other, and then looked at Finn. Morris could guess where this conversation was heading!
“It’ll be loud and scare the children again,” the great hound continued, “but with your help I think we can give those witches a taste of their own medicine.”
So Finn told them of the plan that he had devised.
The 4th and Final part will be tomorrow!!