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  • Writer's pictureDiana A

The Storks and The Babies

People tell me that I ask a lot of questions.

It's probably true.

I love to hear about fun and exciting facts. That is just how my brain works. I need to figure out everything, how it works, and where it comes from.

So it's no wonder that when I wrote The Lazy Stork, I needed to know where that legend came from.

The legend about the storks bringing the babies that I grew up with.

And I set out to find out.

There are multiple theories on the origin of that old legend. Here are some of my favorites:

9-months migration

This legend most likely originated in Europe, where the storks spend their breeding season and stems from their migration pattern.

In ancient times, couples would wed during the summer solstice, believing summer was the time of fertility.

At the same time, storks would commence their annual migration, flying from Europe to Africa. The birds would then return the following spring — approximately nine months later.

Stealing the baby

Some trace the story's origin to ancient Greece and the legend about a goddess named Hera and queen Gerana.

In the legend, Hera grew jealous of a beautiful queen, transforming her into a stork. The heartbroken stork-woman tried to retrieve her child from Hera's clutches, and the Greeks depicted the transformed bird with a baby dangling from its beak.

He didn't start it but helped spread it.

In "The Storks" by Hans Christian Andersen, the birds plucked dreaming babies from ponds and lakes, and delivered them to deserving families.

The story sought to teach children a moral lesson by scaring them into behaving. In the story, families with ill-behaved children would receive a dead baby as punishment from the stork.

Avoiding awkward questions.

In Victorian England, parents were not keen to talk to their children about sex, and the story of the storks bringing the babies became especially popular.

Sadly, today many people haven't heard about the storks and the babies (despite the top-rated movie "Storks" on Netflix.) It feels that we fail to pass down some of the magic we grew up with to our kids.

The Lazy Stork is an old legend with a twist and a pinch of humor.


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