Ceremony of the Cranes

The Sandhill Cranes & the Platte River

Ties to the Book: Those of the Gray Wind

Stories from the book

  • Spring 1860- In the spring, a young crane was trying to find his parents because he got separated in flight. As he tries to land in the Platte River, he becomes caught in an old barbed wire fence. Before he is completely submerged in the raging torrent a girl comes along and saves him. She nurses him back to health and does everything to make him happy.
  • Summer 1900- In the summer portion of the book, the cranes head out of the Platte River area up into the northern regions of Canada, Alaska, and even Siberia. The story talks about a pair of parents and their two young colts growing up in the desolate yet safe north Canada. Then an Eskimo boy comes along to steal the eggs, he witnesses the cranes dancing and defending their young. He is so moved, that he actually runs home, crying, to his mother to tell about the incredible sight. his mother then talks about a young woman who is taken away from her village by cranes.

How the Book Relates to Real Life

The author used fiction to create a general idea of how things are done. In the first story he talks about the injured crane. That story may or may not have occurred. John Paulsgaard uses this scenario to talk about the basic functions of the young crane such as how they sleep, eat, and even bathe.

The second story is about a pair and their young and the parents devotion to the young and how they will protect them against other animals and humans. Cranes are usually quite protective of their young. The story about the cranes taking the young woman from the village is true; it's based off of real legend. The myth is one way to tell about why cranes act that way when they fly.

In all, the author portrayed crane attributes like that because it was easier to explain and comprehend. If you were to learn something through nonfiction you would get bored and start to wonder why you were reading such a dull book. But through fiction, you are transported to a different time and place and you get to learn about different emotional conflicts from the characters.

Pictures of the Platte Valley Area!!!!

Rowe Sanctuary & Crane Trust Visitors Center

Sandhill vs. Whooping

- roughly 3-4ft. tall
- gray with red bald spot on top of their head
- relatively common (approximately 600,000 in the wild)
- around 6ft. tall
- pretty much all white with black-tipped wings and some red on the head
- very rare; only about 270 in the wild and around 400 in captivity

Map of the "Crane River" of Nebraska

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All pictures courtesy of Bing Images except the Buffalo and Side-ways photo- those are mine.

The information in courtesy of Mr. Regier, Mrs. Orht, our guide at Rowe Sanctuary, Jeanna Leonard, some of the books I kind of read while there, and Tom the crane lover who would never harm a crane.