SORROW'S SONG by Larry Callen


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Further doings of those earthy eccentrics down in Four Corners-with the focus more solemnly this time on narrator Pinch's mute, expressive friend Sorrow. Their predicament: how to keep a small, brown crane with a broken wing from falling into the clutches of the blustering Zoo Man; niggardly Mr. John Barrow, who'd be happy to sell it to him; or the oafish Sweet brothers, who might do almost anything. None of these folks is actually mean (Pinch, characteristically, can tell the difference), so when Sorrow falls ill in the course of spiriting away the now nearly-recovered pure-white whooping crane, they all come bearing gifts-and recoil from her reproachful glances. Pinch, too, has some head-on talk with his parents about the difference between boys and girls, apropos of why he prefers Sorrow's crane-obsessed company to that of all-round buddy Charley (""It was fun, but it wasn't really special""). But there's no facile capitulation here. After some burlesque hijinks and some Solomonic weighing of rights, Sorrow's crane is freed--idiosyncratically, by Mr. John Barrow. Callen makes the point that Sorrow's sympathy for the bird is grounded in her own mute captivity, but his story scores because he gives all these quirky folks a loose rein.

Pub Date: April 19th, 1979
Publisher: Atlantic/Little, Brown