The Cranes

Francisco Martínez
3 min readDec 3, 2023

The cranes have returned early this year to the lake house.

Often I refuge here from the irretrievably inhumane life of the city, and also to remember my son who disappeared in the lake a few months ago. Despite the efforts of the search, I was unable to find his body.

That morning, one of the cranes approached me, without any modesty, a few meters from the cabin, stared at me and started to growl, with a very high-pitched sound that modulated until it went out. It was like he was asking or begging for something.

The next day, several of them surrounded the house and it seemed as if they were following the instructions of the crane that had visited me the day before. One of them, stretching her long neck, dared to stick her head through one of the windows.

At night, when I was already in bed reading the Twilight flash fiction on my tablet, I heard a kind of sobbing. I got up stealthily, and with a flashlight searched for the origin of that half-human sound. My surprise was all the more surprising when the light from the flashlight showed me a baby crane in a corner looking at me with frightened eyes. I went back to my bed and fell sound asleep.

Very early in the morning, I heard the cranes growl. They seemed to be demanding my attention. When I went out with the baby and left it on the ground, there was a big stir, and the cranes, with their deafening songs, seemed to thank me for giving them back their little girl. Then the crane that visited me that day shook her neck. Something was glowing in her beak. Intrigued, I approached her and discovered that she was wearing a medal… my son’s medal.

The emotion didn’t let me think clearly. The crane kept looking away from me and seemed to want to tell me to follow her. I went to the pier and started the motorboat engine. The crane took flight and I followed her across the lake. In one of the remote, hard-to-reach places, the bird landed on the branch of a tree. Nearby, underneath, in the water, was my son’s body.

Las grullas

Las grullas han regresado pronto este año a la casa del lago.

A menudo me refugio aquí de la vida irremediablemente inhumana de la ciudad, y también para recordar a mi hijo que desapareció en el lago hace unos meses. A pesar de los esfuerzos de la búsqueda, no he podido encontrar su cuerpo.



Francisco Martínez

Telecom engineer. International Relations, Translations.