Imagine I've just dashed up into the top of a pine. Fundamentally, I'm a land creature, and nature does not permit her land creatures to dwell in treetops. If I tarry too long I'm bound to fall. I could simply let go, but in that case I'd fall too fast. So I need, by some means, to honor nature's laws yet mitigate their pace. In other words, I need to crawl down. It may seem there's a world of difference between falling down and crawling down, but the difference, in fact, is not so great. A slow fall is a crawl, and a fast crawl is a fall. The only difference between "fall down" and "crawl down" is an initial consonant sound. I'm not looking to fall from the top of a pine tree, so I need to slow my fall to a crawl. Put another way, I need a means of putting the brakes on my fall. As I've explained already, my claws are all backward facing, so with head up and claws out I can apply to full force of my claws to countering the force of the fall. Accordingly, the fall becomes a crawl. This is logical and self-evident. What if, on the other hand, I turn myself around, in the spirit of Yoshitsune charging down from Pine Pass. Claws become all but useless. They slip and slide, overwhelmed by gravity's pull. At this point, the planned and intended crawl is nothing but a free and fast fall. Hiyodorigoe Pass presents a conundrum. Having artfully worked through this conundrum, I find myself unique among cats. I've crafted the term "pine sliding" to describe this novel form of physical training.
I'll close with a word on the fence circuit. The master's yard is marked off by a rectangular bamboo fence. One side, running parallel to the veranda, is about fifteen meters in length. The adjacent sides to left and right are shorter, at seven or so meters. The training I refer to as "fence circuit" involves a round along the top of this fence, completed without falling. I don't always manage it, but when I do succeed, I find it most gratifying. Along the way are thick support posts, with one end charred and anchored into the earth. These posts afford an ideal resting spot. I was in top form today and gave it three goes in the course of the morning. The more rounds I attempt, the better my performance, and the better my performance, the greater my satisfaction.