No material imprint

We were visiting a foundation devoted to the preservation of that lovely bird, the crane—some species of which are currently endangered. One of the exhibitions had a series of sizable outdoor pens where the stately, five-foot-tall birds could move freely and yet be observed. As we moved from pen to pen, the birds tended to be unafraid but aloof. They went about their business of eating or basking in the sun with little attention to their human visitors.

Then we moved to a pen where there were two of the birds at the far end. As soon as one of them saw us, it rushed to our end of the pen, great wings flapping the air with obvious joy and gladness. It was at least as delighted to see us as we were to see it.

We were told that this crane's mother, shortly after she (the mother) had hatched, had spent the first three months of her life away from other cranes in the company only of humans. Ever since that time she had identified herself with humans, not with other cranes.

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Morning light
February 24, 1986

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.