Crane and the Crab


The Crane and Crab, a tale about turned trust!
Old wily crane, at pond he stood beside
attracts a crab, who asked him why he cried.
The crane heard words two anglers did decide,
to drain the pool to get the fish, they must.

The tale goes on as crab gets fish concerned.
The Crane and Crab, a tale about turned trust,
proposes perfect plan where fates adjust,
if on crane’s wings, for transfer, they entrust.
Then angler’s methods can be swiftly spurned.

The fish agreed to be flown far away.
So one-by-one the foolish fish were rushed.
The Crane and Crab, a tale about turned trust,
as crane nearby fulfilled his hunger lust,
consuming many in a single day.

The crab requested to be taken too!
At this, the greedy crane became nonplussed,
as crab crawled on and grabbed a feathered tuft.
The Crane and Crab, a tale about turned trust
took to the air, observing carnage view.

Then angry crab claws into crane’s neck thrust.
“I’ll cut your neck if you don’t land,” crab said.
“Please spare me, it was only fish are dead.”
“OK,” said crab. When down, snapped off his head.
The Crane and Crab, a tale about turned trust.

Author Notes:

In this picture of two trees, I saw two images. In the first tree, I see what resembles a crab. In the the other tree, I see what looks like some bird, with a long sharp beak at an angle about 7 o’clock, and tall green headfeathers. I hope you can see that too! This is what inspired this story poem about a crane and crab, for my Animated Stills collection.

This tale is told in many versions, different details, and several languages. I just captured the gist of it here. If you google it, there are several books written. The oldest known writing comes from the Panchatantra, which is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose. Aesop, the Greek storyteller, told a similar story only the bird is a heron, and the fishermen went to get their nets.

This poem is a Quinquerne.
The Quinquerne is a creation of our own Fanstorian, Pantygynt. It uses ten syllables per line of iambic pentameter. The Quinquerne, as its name suggests, works in multiples of five – five Quintrains of enveloping rhyme (two around three), with the first line, repeated as a refrain line cascading line by line through each Quintrain. The rhyme scheme which, unlike the Quaterne, is essential with this form, as the “a” rhyme is repeated 12 times within the 25 lines. Also, the format of the refrain is critical to the flow and transitions. The rhyme scheme is:
Abbba, cAaac, daAad, eaaAe, afffA, where the capital letter indicates the repeated line.

Feminine endings may be employed, but would not, however, be stipulated as a requirement of the form.

For this poem, the refrain was a bit stilted, but I felt the format was essential, as each stanza provides a different twist on trust, justifying its reassertion. In stanza one, the crab trusts the crane’s story. In stanza two, the fish, crab, and crane all trust in the plan. In stanza three, the fish all trust in the honesty of the crane not to harm them. In stanza four, the misplaced trust is revealed. Finally, in stanza five, the crane trusts the crab not to harm him. So, this story has many angles that ripple through it.

This picture was taken by the author himself on October 23, 2016.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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