A Gift for the Cranes

larsson child & sled

“There is a wonderful old tradition in some parts of Scandinavia, in which the children hang their stockings outside their houses during those days in early spring when the European common cranes first return from their wintering areas in France and Spain. Sometimes the children place an ear of corn or some other gift for the cranes, whose welcome voices and overhead flocks are the surest sign of spring and renewed hope for the future after enduring a long, unbearably dark and frigid Scandinavian winter.” — one of our favorite passages from Paul Johnsgard’s Sandhill and Whooping Cranes: Ancient Voices Over America’s Wetlands.

carl larsson
Harvesting Ice by Carl Larsson, 1905, and above, Larsson’s The Yard and Wash House.

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