Drabble: Paper Cranes

Genre: general, spiritual


She folded one paper crane every day after her husband left. Each crane held half a dozen prayers. A prayer for God to bring him back, a prayer for God to keep him alive, a prayer for God to bring him to the right people.

She lined the cranes up on the coffee table, arranging them in different patterns as the collection grew. Eventually, there were so many cranes that she strung them together so they took up less space.

One crane grew to a dozen, then dozens. As she folded her 82nd crane, she wondered if she would hit 1000 cranes. Would she laugh or cry then? How long was 1000 days?

At the 114th crane, her husband returned, successful in his original mission but now tasked with a new one: survive his infection.

She continued to fold one crane each day. Some old prayers turned to thanksgiving and some new ones joined in. Thank you God for bringing him back and please let him live.

127 cranes later, her husband finally returned home.



My first thought when I saw today’s prompt (pattern) was a scene in Moana. One character had scratched tally marks into the stone to mark how long he had been stranded on an island. He was there for a long time, and he must have gotten bored at some point, because he started grouping the tally marks in the shape of his magical fishing hook.

So I thought about someone tallying the days by folding paper cranes. When I first had the idea, I thought the lady would have days where she would take the strings of crane apart and restring them in different patterns. That didn’t make the final cut.

What’s the significance of 1000 paper cranes?
There are a few variations, but in general, in Japan, it’s believed that something good will happen if you fold 1000 paper cranes.

How long is 1000 days?
Roughly 2 years 9 months.

Posted on March 12, 2017, in Short Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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