Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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Cranes

The first time I saw a flock of cranes was in the sagebrush and pine country of Eastern Oregon. From a distance -- to my Western Oregon eyes -- they looked like deer browsing along the Silvies River.

Cranes are lovely, graceful birds. To the Chinese and Japanese, they are symbols of longevity, messengers of the gods carrying souls to the Western Paradise. In local Indian myths, Crane stretches a long leg across the river, offering a bridge to those traveling from the Land of the Living to the Land of the Dead.

As I watch cranes along the Silvies, I hope for a long life ... then safe passage to whatever world waits for me across the river.