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Thursday, July 15, 2004


About two weeks ago, driving to my parent's house, I came upon two adult sand hill cranes and their two little ones. I had to stop and watch them. Only about five inches tall and fuzzy, the gray little cranes already had two very different personalities. One stuck right next to the parents and ran across the road with them. The other one was more cautious and stayed on the opposite side, waiting for me to pass by.

The parents squawked and called for the little one on the other side of the street. After sitting there for a few moments, it became clear that this little crane was stubborn in its fear and would not move on while my vehicle was sitting where it was. I pulled ahead, just over the rise of the hill so I could look back and see. Two more minutes of frantic calls from the parents and the stranded chick finally ran across the road.

Today I went past that point today and I could see the parent cranes out in the field. Only one chick was with them. It was about a foot tall now. Still fuzzy but now much less gray. The missing chick was no surprise. Cranes have two chicks just for that reason. But I do wonder which one survived. Is it the cautious one or the one who was daring and crossed the road right away who is still alive? Was one of them Cain and one of them Abel? That happens too in cranes.

International Crane Foundation
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