The Crane Life

May 20, 2011
Wingspan by Chris Spracklen


For your Fairy Tale of the Day visit the Andrew Lang Collection

“Deeper meaning resides in the fairy tales told to me in my childhood than in any truth that is taught in life.” -Freidrich von Schiller.


What a life that poor man led with his wife, to be sure! Not a day passed without her scolding him and calling him names, and indeed sometimes she would take the broom from behind the stove and beat him with it. He had no peace or comfort at all, and really hardly knew how to bear it.

One day, when his wife had been particularly unkind and had beaten him black and blue, he strolled slowly into the fields, and as he could not endure to be idle he spread out his nets.

What kind of bird do you think he caught in his net? He caught a crane, and the crane said, ‘Let me go free, and I’ll show myself grateful.’

The man answered, ‘No, my dear fellow. I shall take you home, and then perhaps my wife won’t scold me so much.’

Said the crane: ‘You had better come with me to my house,’ and so they went to the crane’s house.

When they got there, what do you think the crane took from the wall? He took down a sack, and he said:

‘Two out of a sack!’

Instantly two pretty lads sprang out of the sack. They brought in oak tables, which they spread with silken covers, and placed all sorts of delicious dishes and refreshing drinks on them. The man had never seen anything so beautiful in his life, and he was delighted.

Then the crane said to him, ‘Now take this sack to your wife.’

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