1000 Cranes (A Six Sentence Story)


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Her  husband walked in the door after work to find supper not yet started, and the table covered with piles of brightly colored squares of paper.

He stood there watching as her stiff fingers clumsily folded a bright yellow square turn by turn until a small paper crane took shape, matching dozens of others in a rainbow of colors that were filling the cardboard box sitting near her feet.

“What’s for supper?” he asked quizzically, eyeing the clean kitchen counter and unused stove behind her.

“It’s make your own night,” she replied, noting that there was sandwich fixings and leftover chicken in the fridge.

“Ok…. what are you doing, and how long have you been at it?”

“Since early this morning,” she mumbled, intently focused on the task at hand, “I have to finish them tonight, the doctor doesn’t think she’s going to make it to the morning.”

Japanese tradition holds that anyone who folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish by the gods. 
I’m joining the incredibly awesome Zoe at “Uncharted
The cue this week is “crane“.


Author: Josie Two Shoes

I've been blogging off and on since August of 2006. I adopted the pen name Josie Two Shoes in 2007 as I began a new chapter of my life standing on my own two feet. Now I'm married to the man of my dreams; we live in dusty West Texas with a house full of furkids. I am an Aquarian by birth, and although I am past sixty and slightly frayed around the edges, my fascination with this thing called life continues. Faith, family, and friends are important to me; so are honesty, trust, tolerance, compassion and kindness. I'm pretty up front about most things, so if you want to know something more about me, just ask! :-) You can also reach me by email and find me at my Facebook page.

28 thoughts on “1000 Cranes (A Six Sentence Story)”

    1. She wants her loved one to be allowed more time on the earth. Of course we know that depends on God’s will, but to me the cranes are a form prayerful request, and we know that God hears our prayers!

  1. My mind went immediately to “One Thousand Paper Cranes”, which tells the story of Sadako and the Children’s Peace Statue in Hiroshima. You know I love Crane and have some figures from China and Japan. I even have an origami one. Tradition is integral to the Japanese. Good story.
    お幸せに。(Oshiawaseni) “Best wishes”

  2. Nice surprise ending (not an easy thing in the land of Six Sentences). Hadn’t heard of that tradition. Like it. (Resisting the urge to try to make one to get a feel for the size of the task.)

    1. You know I love that sixth sentence in my stories, Clark! 🙂 I like the tradition behind the folding of cranes too. I have made a crane before, most certainly not a thousand of them, and mine was not very beautiful, but I am tempted to take up a bit of origami again. It’s meditative activity, I think.

  3. What a perfect story! All that folding of such small pieces fo paper seems like a task for the young. My hands hurt just thinking about it.

    1. Thank you, Pat! I find the many folds hard to follow and do best with someone sitting beside me so I can follow along. My hands are like yours, forty years of keyboarding has taken a toll on my fingers. Origami, thread crochet, and such things are difficult now, but I still like to play with it a little bit now and then.

    1. I think it’s a beautiful tradition, and I do know people who have made a thousand, but definitely not in one day, that would be an arduous if even possible task. I hope that God smiles on her efforts and decides to heal her loved one, because really that’s what this story is about, loving someone that much!

  4. Origami is such a beautiful and fascinating art. What a unique use of the cue word! The folding 1,000 cranes tradition sounds a bit like a meditative exercise but the woman in your story has quite a specific goal in mind.I doubt she’s in it for the calming effect.
    Your ending leaves me wondering that death is imminent for one of this woman’s family members or perhaps friends.
    Solemn but very good 6!

    1. Thank you, Girlie! I like to think of the folding of cranes as unspoken prayers. While I don’t know if completion will be a factor in the recovery of her loved one, but I do know that the very intention of focusing this much love is sure to have an effect.

  5. Origami cranes were what I thought of too, but I couldn’t come up with anything as good as your six! I have heard of this tradition, and have heard that making a paper crane is painstaking and time-consuming work. 1000 of them, oh my! I hope her wish comes true.

    1. It is as very simple story, Deborah, as are most of mine. I am more of a storyteller than a writer, but I enjoyed sharing this tale, as I could see it unfolding and her working late into the night when her hands and eyes were very weary. I also hope her wish came true!

    1. I have seen them too, and have attempted them, but my efforts fall a bit short and lopsided. 🙂 Origami is fascinating, and I like the concept of a repetitive process, even knitting and crochet can be that for me at times. Thank you!

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