#5 Training and Operating the PigeonsJuly 21, 2016
Pigeons’R’Faster has built statues all over the realm as posts for carrier pigeons. A well-trained pigeon knows how to fly home once it has been untied, but an official is sent weekly to check the statues for possible shirkers.
So how do the pigeons know which statue to fly to? They don’t. That is what the catapults are for.
Training the pigeons is very slow and some never learn how to fly back home. They are stupid pigeons, after all. Oh, it seems that one of the new recruits is a fire-burper. This is not good.
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The catapults were invented by Scholar-pioneers, and obviously require some advanced hoot-hickery to aim. Thankfully, they are very simple (if also somewhat labor-intensive) to use after they have been calibrated! The calibration is done by drawing clear signs around the catapult that tell the direction and force needed to make the pigeon land near the correct statue.
Upon landing near the statue, the pigeon will naturally just walk around, eat stuff from the ground and climb the statue until it is untied. What a convenient use of pigeon’s natural tendencies!
The catapult was quite interesting to draw. Fortunately I was allowed to sit and make a few quick illustrations of it while we were on the tour, so I did not need to memorize the whole contraption! At first, the catapult looked very complicated – intimidating, even – to draw, but the more time I spent viewing it and drawing the details, the more simple it seemed to become. Funny, how much you can learn about things just by drawing them!
The picture does not manage to depict the instructions Gheralf mentions, but they were very detailed and easy to understand. Looking at them I actually felt like even I could operate the catapult if I just had enough strength. It was as if the signs were made so that even a complete idiot could do the job.