【Geography】The Borders - Chapter 2: Animals’ Air Travel Ⅰ
Migratory birds fly long away between seasons.
When the winter comes, migration birds fly long away to the south and travel back to their original habitat during the spring.
Red-crowned cranes mostly live in Japan and northeast China. They are deemed as one of the sacred birds in Japan and called “Xian Crane” (Fairy Crane) in China.
In Japan, people take ecological conservation seriously, so red-crowned cranes are inhabited in nice environments. Japan Airlines even has the image of red-crowned on all their plane tails.
【Story about Red-crowned Crane】
There is famous Japanese folklore called “Tsuru no Ongaeshi (Crane’s Return of a Favor)”.
Once upon a time, an old couple saw an injured red-crowned crane while they were chopping firewood. The old couple saved the red-crowned crane and cured its wound to let it be able to fly away.
After a few months, the old couple heard someone knocking on their door at night. They opened the door and saw a young beautiful girl shivering in the freezing weather. The girl asked to go into the house to shelter from the cold. The couple agreed right away and prepared some hot soup for the girl.
The young girl appreciated the couple’s help and wanted to return their favor by being their daughter. The old couple had no kids, so they were pleased to have the girl to be their daughter. The girl was very diligent, taking good care of all the house chores and the old couple. However, she had one request - the couple could not open her door even if they heard any strange sounds. They agreed and did follow what she had said.
After a few days, the girl suddenly gave them a delicate white kimono which surprised the old couple. The girl hoped they could sell the kimono in the town. The couple did as she said, and the kimono was quickly sold out with a nice price. Afterward, the girl kept making beautiful kimonos for the couple to sell in the town. Their life then had improved and lived safe and sound together.
One night, a strange sound came out from the girl’s room again. The couple couldn’t hold their curiosity and peeped through the door gap. To their great surprise, they saw a red-crowned crane pulling off the feather from its body to make the beautiful kimono. All of a sudden, the red-crowned crane found the couple and turned into the little girl. Her body was all injured. “I was meant to return your favor. However, since you have discovered my secret, I have no choice but to leave.” said the girl sadly. The girl turned back to a red-crowned crane and flew away. Although the old couple were sad to say goodbye to the girl, they let the crane go with tears.
【Rumor of the Red-crowned Crane】
Rumor has it that the red-crowned crane’s head is poisonous. In the past, Emperors used to use the poison extracted from a red-crowned crane’s head to kill ministers. Some also said the extraction was a kind of Chinese medicine.
In the Edo period, it is said that the Japanese generals and nobility gave red-crowned cranes to the emperor as one of the precious ingredients of “three birds two fishes”. (The red-crowned cranes are now protected species, so it is illegal to catch or eat.) Other two birds of the “three birds two fishes” are lark and common moorhen.
【Interesting Little Story】A red-crowned crane got lost and came to Taiwan
The possible reasons could have been:
（1）He was a proud maverick.
（2）He was in a snit.
（3）He was injured.
All three reasons above could have been possible.
He fell in love with Taiwan.
Fly with the eagles to find the living buddha.
Once there’s a story about a person who found the living buddha with his strong religious belief.
Tibetan Buddhism has a mysterious and devout tradition - find the living buddha. It is said that a living buddha told his disciples.
In the beliefs of Tibetan Buddhism, there is a very mysterious and devout tradition of looking for the living Buddhas. Once an old living buddha was about to pass away, telling his disciples about the clues of his reincarnation. "When the eagle flies south for a distance of nine days, I will reincarnate here." the Buddha told them. Then the living Buddha passed away.
Their "mission journey" was about to begin...
They began to calculate the flight hours of the eagle and then calculated the eagle's night-day flight distance from the temple. Soon after, they set off on a journey to find the living Buddha. After a long and tiring journey, they eventually found a Tibetan family in a small village in New Zealand. The family had a little son born a few years ago. They calculated the time when the little boy was born, and found out it exactly matched the time of the old living Buddha passing.
They conducted a series of verifications. They first took out the scriptures that the old living Buddha often read when he was still alive. Surprisingly, the little boy could not only read the scriptures, but also interpret the content.
Later they took out the old living Buddha's belongings. When the little boy saw one of the photos, he started to cry. The verifier was shocked and asked what was he crying for?
"This was my best friend, but he passed away unexpectedly." said the little boy.
They confirmed that the little boy was the reincarnation of the old living Buddha.
In the end, the little boy’s parents respectfully bidded farewell to their children, letting the little living Buddha follow the verifiers to India to practice and learn the living Buddha and start a new journey in life.
［Tour to New Zealand］
Back-faced spoonbills migrate to Taiwan every winter. They are extinct animals with less than 3,000 alive. They moved around Siberia, Korean Peninsula, and Northeast China. A few of them can also be seen in Korea Jeju Island, Japan Okinawa, China Jiangsu, and Hong River in Vietnam, but most of them love to stay in the warm Southern Taiwan. If you get the chance to visit Taiwan, you are likely to see them in Cigu, Tainan.
【待續 to be continue …】
All content published on this site that except the items shall not be the subject matter of Copyright Act that such as laws, orders, text of speeches, news releases and etc., please refer to the Article 9 provisions of Copyright Act the others all protected by Copyright Act including textual narratives, photography, pictures, sound recordings, images, and other information. No one may misappropriate, reproduce, transcribe, or distribute part or all of the content without the consent of the original author.