The Song of the Crane Fly

Poetry book by Trudi Murray

Made from paper, ink, love and watercolour.

I know a dear little person called Rosie. She is full to the brim with life and enthusiasm and fun. She’s also a darling, caring little soul, and the other day, she helped a crane fly to safety, but couldn’t prevent its inevitable death. Rosie set about holding a prayer service for the crane fly, to mark its demise with dignity and proper concern.

I was so inspired by her tale as told by her lovely Mummy, Charlotte, that I had to look up crane flies to find out more about them. Of course, they are wonderful, harmless, delicately romantic creatures (although I’m sure if the crane fly larva is eating your lawn, you may feel less well disposed to them).

That all sparked off a poem for Rosie, which led to an idea for a little illustrated book. I decided that Rosie really ought to have a proper letter of thanks too from the insect community for her kindnesses towards them, so I got out my spideriest pen nib and made that next. I parcelled the whole thing up and sent it in the post, direct from the Crane Fly Headquarters. It took me a morning, maybe, to put it all together, and I giggled with delight throughout.

Here’s the whole thing, page by page. I wish i could have been a (crane) fly on the wall when Rosie opened it.

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Poetry book by Trudi Murray

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Pages 2 and 3

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Pages 4 and 5

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Pages 6 and 7

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Pages 8 and 9

Poetry book by trudi Murray, about crane flies

Page 10

Letter to child as though from a fly!

Letter to dear Rosie

‘The pen is very heavy for our legs’. I love that thought!

Envelope with hand drawn illustration

PS: I am constantly inspired by the genius Don Marquis and his tales of cockroach Archy, and Mehitabel, the alley cat. I came across a volume of poems written by Archy in the library one day, and have been hooked on it ever since. Read some more about Archy, Mehitabel and Don, at don

One Comment on “The Song of the Crane Fly

  1. I had been excited all day, as soon as I saw the envelope from the postman and it was so beautifully decorated with a picture of a crane fly on the back. I couldn’t wait for Rosie to get back from school. When she saw it, it took her a few moments to work out it was related to her ‘pal’ and then she was really excited. I read her the letter from Crane Fly Headquarters first. She’s learning to read really well but the poor little fly that wrote the letter obviously found the pen a chore to carry in his spindly legs. She was giggling throughout, then we read the songbook together and she was enchanted. Her favourite picture was on the front page, but she really loved the part of the story about their legs not being too important, what really mattered was love. On the last page her little face lit up. She knew straight away that despite everything her crane fly had died happy because he’d found true friendship. She rang Trudi straight away, she wanted to tell her all about her favourite bits, and then she told her about how it happened and that she was trying to protect her friend. It was lovely to hear as there were no tears this time. She told the story with enthusiasm and a peaceful little smile. I think it’s fair to say that Trudi mended a broken heart this week.

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