The Boy Who Only Saw Cranes• March 26, 2009
A guy in green doctor scrubs tells me a story.
We had a boy here once whose brain locked,
He says, and all he could see or hear or think
About was cranes, sandhill cranes, you know,
The huge birds like herons on major steroids.
Now, fixation or obsession is fairly orthodox,
That’s why God made so many psychiatrists,
But this was something totally off the charts,
The poor kid couldn’t sleep or function at all.
Essentially he had a mental electric freakout,
Is the easiest way to try to describe the event.
Anyway we tried everything you could think,
Drugs, therapy, psychiatry, prayer, a famous
Football player came by to visit him a while,
His gramma came and did Nez Perce smoke,
Some ancient ceremony like that, but we got
Nowhere, and that kid was starting to vanish
When we finally got the bright idea of going
Out to Sauvie Island and getting a real crane.
Well, you can’t bring a bird into the hospital,
Those things are like five feet high and eight
Feet wide, so we take the boy out in my jeep,
And it’s the migration season, there they are
Overhead, croaking like anything, and down
They come into the muddy fields like planes.
We stayed there all day with the kid, me and
Two nurses, and whatever it was that needed
To happen in the kid’s head, it happened. So
A couple days later he’s okay and his family
Comes and gets him and everything ends up
Fine, but here’s my question: What was that
All about? So we tell that story here anytime
Someone gets cocky about modern medicine.
Man, I been a doctor for nearly 20 years,
And I tell you there’s a new lesson every day,
Sandhill cranes, man, you figure that one out!