Sometimes days passed and Stupid Ludmila did not appear in the forest.  Lekh would become possessed by a silent rage.   He would stare solemnly at the birds in the cages, mumbling something to himself.   Finally after prolonged scrutiny he would choose the strongest bird, tie it to his wrist, and prepare stinking paints of different colours which he mixed together from the most varied components.  When the colours satisfied him, Lekh would turn the bird over and paint its wings, head and breast in rainbow hues until it became more dappled and vivid than a bouquet of wild flowers.

Then he would go into the thick of the forest.  There Lekh took out the painted bird and ordered me to hold it in my hand and squeeze it lightly.  The bird would begin to twitter and attract a flock of the same species which would fly nervously over our heads.  Our prisoner, hearing them, strained towards them, warbling more loudly, its little heart, locked in its freshly painted breast, bleating violently.

When a sufficient number of birds gathered above our heads, Lekh would give me a sign to release the prisoner.  It would soar, happy and free, a spot of rainbow against the backdrop of clouds, and then plunge into the waiting brown flock.  For an instant the birds were confounded.   The painted bird circled from one end of the flock to the other, vainly trying to convince its kin that it was one of them.  But dazzled by its brilliant colours, they flew around it unconvinced.  The painted bird would be forced farther and farther away as it zealously tried to enter the ranks of the flocks.  We saw soon afterwards how one bird after another would peel off in fierce attack.  Shortly the many hued shape lost it's place in the sky and dropped to the ground.  These incidents happened often.  When we finally found the painted birds they were usually dead.