It's much harder to reinvent yourself than you might think.
For the Fable Me This
The beautiful preview image is by [link]
With my apologies, here is a spin on the story of The Crane Wife
, a popular folktale from Japan. In the story, a poor man finds an injured crane on his doorstep, an arrow in its wing. He takes it in, nurses it back to health, and then releases the crane. Shortly thereafter a woman appears at his doorstep with whom he falls in love and they marry. Because they need money, his wife offers to weave wondrous clothes out of silk that they can sell at the market, but only if he agrees never to watch her making them. He agrees and soon they are living a comfortable life.
It is not very long, however, before the man begins pressuring his wife to make more and more of these fantastic clothes. Her health begins to suffer as a result of her efforts, but the husband is oblivious to his wife's diminishing health as his greed increases. His curiosity piqued, he eventually peeks in to see what his wife is doing to make the silk she weaves so desirable. He is shocked to discover that at the loom is a crane plucking feathers from her own body and weaving them into cloth. The crane seeing him and flies away, never to return.
The epigraph is from a poem translated by Kenneth Rexroth and Ikuko Atsumiin and found in the book Women Poets of Japan
. According to Wikipedia, Princess Nukata (額田王, Nukata no Ōkimi?, c. 630-690 CE) (also known as Princess Nukada) was a Japanese poet of the Asuka period.
Born of Princess Kagami, Nukata became Emperor Temmu's favorite wife, and would bear him Princess Tōchi (who would become Emperor Kōbun's consort). She at first enjoyed the favor of Emperor Temmu, but later became one of the consorts of Emperor Tenji, Emperor Temmu's elder brother. It is unknown whether this change in relationships was voluntary or forced. After the death of Emperor Tenji, she was reunited with Emperor Temmu
You can read the rest of her short poem, or sample others of her works, by taking a look at Women Poets of Japan
I have been selective in my use of articles like "the" in the poem, not to simulate the effect of a pigeon (or pidgin) English, but to explore/expand a little of the animistic belief that seems implicit to me in a story where a crane becomes a human and then a crane again.
5/30: Ooooops. I had quite a few edits to do to finalize this. When I posted it I guess I should have been a little more attentive to what I was doing ... (though, in my defense, it's hard to upload work and cook dinner at the same time). Anyway, I think I'm about done ruining this piece. Thanks for your patience.
Check out some cool Crane Wife art right here on dA: [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] [link]
And then there's another fine poem by
, appropriately called Crane Wife