A family of crabs lived on the shores of a giant blue sea. They frolicked in the sands and ate mussels, clams and other small sea creatures. One day the mother crab saw a beautiful crane walking about in the sand, a straight graceful walk in its long reed-like legs.

“How graceful that crane looks,” she thought to herself. Then she caught sight of her son waddling towards her and felt very irritated. “And how clumsy my son is. He is like a moving sack.”

“Why do you walk like that?” she snapped, when he came nearer. “Instead of this awkward one-sided gait, use your 10 legs to walk straight. And gracefully,” she added.

The Crane's Walk [Illustration by Shinod AP]
The Crane’s Walk [Illustration by Shinod AP]


“How do I walk straight mother?” asked the bewildered little crab. “I have only known to walk like this.”

But his mother insisted he could walk straight, and it would not be too difficult if he tried. So the little crab tried, and failed.

“Why don’t you show me how to walk straight, mother?” he told her. “If you show me the straight way, I’m sure I will catch on.”

So the mother tried to show her son how to do the straight walk, but no matter how hard she tried, she could not. Her legs did not seem to be suited to walking straight.

“I give up,” she said, panting after several unsuccessful attempts. “Forget it child, I don’t think nature intended for us to duplicate the crane’s walk.”

252 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 4 (9-10 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #cranes

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