Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Yak and the Crane

In nature, there are miracles. The storm was fierce, thick with high winds and driven snow. At the edge of a blue lake lay a delicate white crane that had barely survived. Nearby a large straw-colored yak grazed.
The large straw-colored yak was undiminished from the storm. Indeed, he enjoyed the high air and cold clime.
“Are you all right?” the straw-colored yak asked the delicate white crane.
“Yes,” she said.
“Can you stand?” he asked.
“Help,” she replied.
With assistance, the crane came up on long fragile legs then began to weep. She said, “I am a crane, and we mate for life. In the storm, I lost my partner. I miss him and love him. I cannot go on. I will die.” She gazed up into the gray sky.
“I have heard how it is among cranes.” The straw-colored yak tilted his head as he talked then shook himself sending a swirl of powder snow into the thin air. “You are alive now. Thing are as they must be. No one can understand.”
            “How will I live?” The storm rushed in again spitting snow. The crane shivered and leaned into the straw-colored yak. “I am too tired to fly in front of the storm,” she whispered.
“Then climb onto my back and nest under my long hair. I will keep you warm. Together we can wait out the storm,” he said.
The crane settled upon the broad back of the straw-colored yak and nested under his long hair.
Finally, the sun broke from the black sky in a thin shaft of misty-yellow light.
The delicate white crane stepped from the sturdy back of the straw-colored yak. “You have many scars,” she said. “Why do you live here alone?”
“The herders have captured all of my friends but I will not let them take me. I am alone. The snow leopards, wolves and bears would eat me, but as yet I am too much for them; though they test me at every opportunity.”
“Yes, I see. Some of your injuries are awful.”
“They are the price I pay to remain free.”
“But what do you do?”
“For now I live but one day I will die.”
“I do not understand. I think I need a reason for my life.”
The straw-colored yak smiled. “While you are looking for that reason, you can help me. Could you fly high and find quiet pasture for me? You could tell me the movements of the herders and the snow leopards. In return, I will keep you warm.”
“But I am a crane and cannot stay the winter. I must move south.”
“I am a yak and cannot survive outside of the mountains. Will you come back?”
“Yes, I will come back.”
The sturdy yak and the delicate crane remained together their entire lives. The herders still tell how the delicate crane would fly south for the winter and return every spring to find the yak waiting patiently near the blue lake where they met. In nature, there have always been miracles.

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