Chizuko Quotes in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
At the entrance to the Peace Park people filed through the memorial building in silence. On the walls were photographs of the dead and dying in a ruined city. The atom bomb—the Thunderbolt—had turned Hiroshima into a desert. Sadako didn’t want to look at the frightening pictures. She held tight to Chizuko’s hand and walked quickly through the building.
“I remember the Thunderbolt,” Sadako whispered to her friend. “There was the flash of a million suns. Then the heat prickled my eyes like needles.”
“How can you possibly remember anything?” Chizuko exclaimed. “You were only a baby then.”
“Well, I do!” Sadako said stubbornly.
That afternoon Chizuko was Sadako’s first visitor. She smiled mysteriously as she held something behind her back. “Shut your eyes,” she said. While Sadako squinted her eyes shut, Chizuko put some pieces of paper and scissors on the bed. “Now you can look,” she said.
“What is it?” Sadako asked.
Chizuko was pleased with herself. “I’ve figured out a way for you to get well,” she said proudly. “Watch!” She cut a piece of gold paper into a large square. In a short time she had folded it over and over into a beautiful crane.
Sadako was puzzled. “How can that paper bird make me well?”
“Don’t you remember that old story about the crane?” Chizuko asked. “It’s supposed to live for a thousand years. If a sick person folds one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.” She handed the crane to Sadako. “Here’s your first one.”
Sadako’s eyes filled with tears. Sadako took the golden crane and made a wish. The funniest little feeling came over her when she touched the bird. It must be a good omen.
Everyone saved paper for Sadako’s good luck cranes. Chizuko brought colored paper from class. Father saved every scrap from the barbershop. Even Nurse Yasunaga gave Sadako the wrappings from packages of medicine. And Masahiro hung every one of the birds, as he had promised.