Tales of the Congaree

By Edward C. L. Adams; Robert G. O'Meally | Go to book overview

The Yellow Crane

Jube: Limus dead back in de swamp on Crane Lake.

Sandy: Wuh ail him?

Jube: Him and Saber been seinin' back dere wid a gang of dem Free Issues, and dey all come out of de water. Limus stan' up on de edge of de lake and look out dere and look like he froze; he looked and stiffen he self and nod he head like he geein answer to somebody out in de water. Saber say he look like he git a call to come on and he ain't got to go less he gree, and he nod he heard and stiffen he self like he see sompen ain't no human ever see 'efore, and den he shake all over and drap dead. And Saber say he ain't see a God's thing in dat lake but a monster big crane, a yaller crane.

He say it were a natural crane, but he been yaller wid eye like a goose, and he been taller dan a man and he had a bill longer dan de handle of a blacksmith's tongs. He say he noticed dat good, kase when Limus drap he seen him open he bill and work it like he were laughin'. He twis' he head dis way and dat and he ain't make a sound, but he wink he eye and ain't never shet it, but he half close it. It look like some kind of evil sperrit lookin' through a crack in de side of he head. He said dat ole bird guin him de ague.

Den he say dat crane rumple up he feather and shake he self. He start walkin' straight to wey Limus lay. He say he look at him good. He look like a crane and he look like a man, like a ole man yaller wid a beard, and he look evil and he look like de father of death. And he walk up to wey Limus lay and stoop down 'side him and put he head close to Limus' head like he listenin' to sompen. Den he twis' he head one side and look at him careful and laugh widout makin' a sound. Den he step 'cross Limus and put he foot on him like he scorn him, den he reach 'round his self like a man pullin' a cloak 'round him and walk out 'cross de big swamp wid he head drawed up. He look more sinful dan sin. He look satisfied and he look like he were in misery. Saber say he ain't know wuh to make of how he look, he look so much diff'ent kind of way.

-53-

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