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A journey through the sky and the mind, part 2

“Crane, contd” is the second part of the short story by Chinese author Ma Er. You can find the first part here.

But still, its body couldn’t avoid making violent tremors and so the wings were required to act as a stabilizing mechanism. They looked like two kites doing their best to maintain relative stability as the crane rocked to the left and to the right, allowing it to sail, ever soaring through the air. This beautiful flight looked just like a dance, but one that involved tremendous risk.

He understood that flying at this height was necessary—the crane was approaching a blockade constructed of many mountains. Only by catching the rising air currents could it make it over the rows of summits. But by instinct he preferred flying at low altitudes. That was when he could free himself from the fetters of angst and lean out of the window into the screaming winds to scan the distance. He could see plains, rivers, ponds, and low hills and never grew tired of looking at these things.

Once in a while there were people on the hills, standing there like statues—always a lone figure. That moved him and reminded him of him. So he stretched out of the window as far as he could to get a closer look, but he never saw more than a fuzzy silhouette. He couldn’t tell if that person could see him—this spectacle of a huge bird carrying a house. It was likely that nobody could miss it.

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Nicholas Richards is a contributing writer at The World of Chinese.

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