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  • The Crane of Gratitude.

  • Once upon a time there was a very poor but compassionate old man and his old wife.

  • One cold, snowy day, on the way to sell firewood in town the old man rescued a crane caught in a trap.

  • That night, when the old man was telling the story of the rescued crane to his wife, they heard a knock at the door.

  • Wondering who was there, they opened the door and a beautiful young girl was standing in the heavy snow.

  • 'I am sorry to bother you, but I'm lost.'

  • 'I would appreciate it if you would let me stay.'

  • 'Come in.'

  • 'You are welcome to stay, but I'm sorry we have no bed or food for you.'

  • The next day the girl started weaving behind a sliding door and asked them not to look inside.

  • Three days later she had woven a beautiful fabric.

  • 'Uncle and aunty, please sell this fabric in the town and buy thread for me', she asked them as she showed them the fabric.

  • 'What a wonderful fabric.'

  • They were both impressed with her skill.

  • When the old man was selling her fabric, a lord was passing by and bought it for a lot of money.

  • After the old man sold that fabric, the girl continuously made many beautiful fabrics one after another.

  • One day, the old wife couldn't help peeking behind the door to watch the young girl as she did.

  • The old wife couldn't believe what she saw.

  • There was no girl, but a skinny crane pulling its own feathers by its beak and weaving them into the fabric.

  • At night, the girl told the old man and his wife: 'I can't keep my secret anymore: I am the crane you rescued on that snowy day.'

  • 'I really wanted to express my gratitude to you.'

  • 'By transforming myself into a human being and weaving the fabric, this was the only way I could do something for you.'

  • 'But you two found out who I am, so now I must leave.'

  • The beautiful girl turned into a crane and flew far away.

  • 'Please, don't go, stay with us.'

  • The old man and his wife were crying and watching the sky as the crane flew away.

The Crane of Gratitude.

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