Crane Attempts to Communicate with Students

Above: Several creatures from the surrounding area are drawn to the Crane’s calls.

HSSC – Strange noises emanating from the HSSC construction site beginning early last week have caused alarm among the campus community. Students heading back to their rooms for the night were terrified by the jungle-esque bird calls. Heard all across campus and continuing late into the night, the calls have kept residents awake on North Campus.

“I came to Iowa for the cornfields and prairie, not macaws and macaques” said Sierra Courtney ‘21.

With so much confusion about the sounds, students have been demanding answers. In response, an investigation by the Biology department has confirmed the rumors that the noise is coming from the crane itself have.

Jane Wong, Biology, said, “It appears that after almost a year of observing sounds from the construction crew, backhoes, and migrating crows and geese, the crane has developed a form of communication. With so many various sources of inspiration, however, the result is the loud combination of screeching and exotic bird sounds we have come to expect.”

Unfortunately for the crane, its noises are still unintelligible. Though it took a year to go from mute to vocalizing, it will still need more time until we can understand what it is trying to say, but that has not stopped those from trying.

A research team of anthropology and linguistics professors has formed to uncover more secrets of the crane. However, since linguistics is only a concentration at Grinnell College, there are no linguistics professors. Anthropology is on its own. While the crane was previously thought to be inanimate, the anthropology professors are beginning to understand its habits. For one, it appears to be nocturnal. It awakens around 8:00 PM and screeches until around 11:00 PM before going silent until the next day when the process repeats.

It’s only awake for three hours a day and doesn’t move much during those hours.

“We’d be more accurate calling it a sloth rather than a crane. Ha!,” lead researcher Professor (of Anthropology) Anderson explained. It should be noted that Professor Anderson is a dad.

Students have taken a different approach to the crane. Instead of listening to the crane, they only speak to the crane. According to Rebecca Thomson ’19, “The crane is a good listener. I always stop to say hi when I’m walking to class. He’s just misunderstood.”

Some students have already named the crane.

“Yeah, I named them Jamie,” said Henry Gomez ’20. “It’s a good gender-neutral name, and I thought I shouldn’t make any assumptions.”

Rumor has it a few students have developed stronger feelings for the crane.One fourth-year who wished to remain anonymous said “I realize some people might think it’s a little weird, but they’re just so cute! Maybe this is what everyone meant by Grinnell goggles. Do you know if Jamie’s going to 100 days?”

With professors observing during its waking hours and students talking to it the rest of the time, the crane probably wants a two-way conversation for once.

Anderson is very optimistic. “We’ve agreed it’s very likely that soon the crane will move beyond these noises into ones more reminiscent of human conversation. In fact, several times already we have observed noises that sound suspiciously like the word “crane”, however we are unsure if this is a form of self-recognition or simply mimicking a common conversation topic for when you have nothing better to talk about.”