Training begins with a wild bird on a tether.
You teach it to fly, controlled,in a very confined area. You reward obedience with affection, and kindness, and an occasional treat. As the bird responds, the tether gets longer, the area of freedom expands, but remains under control. As trust and loyalty grows, so does the tether, and eventually, it is no longer neccessary. Replacing the tether is the voice command; strong, sure, and unyielding. When the response is positive, the voice softens, becomes pleasing. The bird responds.
unfettered bird leaves his gloved arm, wondering as it flies away if it's in
it's mind to return. You feel it *every time. Sometimes, it's only a passing
thought, relatively sure you've done your job well, and have your bird's
loyalty, and confidence.
just a little farther, a little faster than usual. You wonder if it has decided
that the lure of the unknown, the things not yet experienced, the call of the
wild, may be just a bit stronger than your training, and it's loyalty. You see
it looking towards the mountain, flying towards it, mesmerized by it. You know
you can use your call, a verbal signal that would break the animal's
concentration, train of thought. The sound would illicit an immediate response,
you know, as it has so many times before.