Once upon a time, in a rubbish tip far away from roads and buildings, there lived a stork named Amy. Having lived at the tip for all of her life, Amy knew that storks were not very good at sharing and had therefore tried to change this on many occasions, only to be loudly squawked at and told that is was rude to try and share any of her food or to ask for any other bird’s food. Over the years, Amy had stopped trying to make friends and was almost used to the feeling of being by herself. That is, until one morning, when she came across three baby storks, alone and chirping in a field just outside of the rubbish tip.
Amy had wandered out from her nest early one morning and was walking in the area beside the tip. There was less food to find out here, but at least there were significantly less storks to get angry with her. She was digging her way through a large rubbish bag, which Amy knew had possibly been dragged out there by a fox, when she heard some nearby chirping. At first, Amy ignored the noise, waiting for their mother or father to help them settle, but they continued chirping louder and louder, until Amy could no longer contain her curiosity and went to investigate.
The three babies were clearly in distress and Amy tried to calm them down by asking if they knew where their mother was. This only seemed to cause the babies to start flapping their tiny wigs faster and to start chirping even louder. Amy looked around but couldn’t see any storks close by to try and help her. She started to think about what used to calm her down when she was a baby stork and remembered how her mother would go and collect toys from the tip for her to play with. Amy swiftly flew away towards the rubbish and tried to find some similar toys to the ones she had played with as a baby stork. While the other storks squawked at her to warn her away from their food, she found an old broken jar that had been filled with buttons and took three in her beak before flying back to the chicks.
The babies’ chirping settled for a moment when Amy returned, as they looked at her with anticipation. Amy then showed the three birds how she could toss a button up in air with her beak and then catch it on its way down. Although Amy had loved this game when she was a baby, the three chicks were less than impressed and immediately started chirping loudly once again. Amy thought for a moment and then flew off in the direction of the rubbish once again.
This time, she battled through the angry squawks and found a long piece of red tinsel which she picked up and flew with back towards the chicks. Again, the chicks calmed for a moment when she first returned and, just like her mother had done, Amy showed them how she could make the tinsel beautifully dance as she flew through the sky in a series of twists of loops. Amy felt disappointed when the chicks continued chirping once she landed near them and wanted to try one last idea.
Amy soared high above the rubbish tip, looking for a piece of cloth in between the small gaps made by the hundreds of storks. Her sharp eye spotted a piece of blue material and, just as she was about to fly down to pick it up, she spotted a fox, moving in the field next to where she had left the babies. Amy let out a warning to the other storks as she circled back around and down towards the fox and the babies. Several other storks heard the warning and were flying down towards the fox, squawking loudly to scare him away. The fox kept creeping in the grass towards the three babies so Amy and her friends landed just in front of their nest, warning the fox to stay away. By now, four other storks had seen what was happening and were flying behind him in order to cover his moves from all directions. The fox could sense he was outnumbered, so he quickly dashed off, back into the trees at the edge of the field.
Most of the storks had landed now, and were looking at the three babies curiously. Amy told them how she had tried to help but that her ideas were not working. One of the older storks quickly flew away and came back with a piece of fish in her mouth. She placed it in front of Amy and showed her how to make it into smaller pieces for the babies to eat. And eat they did. More storks went and collected food and Amy helped feed whatever they could find to the now quiet and calm, baby chicks.
That night, the storks moved the babies closer to the tip and they slept in a circle around them so that they would feel protected during the night. In the middle of the circle, with Amy beside them, the three chicks slept peacefully, wrapped up in a cloth which was decorated with buttons and tinsel.
This tale was inspired by reading the following BBC article called, Birds That Live on Rubbish. I found the information in the article interesting, so, perhaps you will, too!