Storks are the symbol of Alsace, a small country that can’t make its mind up it if is German or French and so speaks a mixture of the two languages and benefits from both “cuisines”
It was, therefore, a matter of complete bafflement to them that in mythology they were supposed to deliver the babies of an island way off to the west of them. However, legend is legend and it must be respected. Guillaume learned this when he joined “the baby run” as a newly-fledged stork and studied history and protocol. Even so, he was beak-smacked to be asked to go on assignment to a woman from Scotland, a barbarian territory to the north of this accursed foggy island. As a newbie he didn’t think he could cope but Frau Schnabel assured him that British control worked the same way as theirs did and he would understand the commands.
He was issued with the name of the mother and had her mind-coordinates imprinted. He was off, over the cold water to the island. Finding her usual nest in the big city of London. He dutifully waited until she was asleep and gently pressed the baby, a girl, into her tummy in its magical egg that would dissolve once inside her womb.
So far so good. Feeling immensely proud of himself Guillaume returned to France, taking the pretty route to benefit from some of the varied landscape and roosting places.
It was some time, a few moons, later that he was called to the control room.
“You forgot one!”
Guillaume hung his head. He hadn’t made one mistake yet and this was a terrible black mark on his white wing. “Who?” he clicked.
“Frau Lawton in Britain.”
Guillaume’s feathers nearly fell out in shame and fear.
“Yes, her brother! You forgot him. He is still in the holding pen and this time you are going to have to work very closely with Alba Central as she has left her home nest and is travelling.”
This was no embryo! The brother was quite large and Guillaume had to take a wing-man with him to take shifts in carrying the big and very vocal baby who under no circumstances could be called an embryo. They made contact with Alba control.
“Guillaume with delivery for Lau-tonn” he said
“Ye whaaaaaaa?” Alba control didn’t understand.
“I am Guillaume, or Wilhelm on assignment from Alsace.”
“Ah fekk that – wes will call yer Wullie. Whassyer problem Wullie?”
“I no find Frau Lau-tonn”
“Wasser maiden name?”
“Ah wass Simpson of flock of Frazer”
“Aye gotter. Wully you have a problem, son.”
“She’s on a fekkin train.”
“Sendin Big Harry the Heron up to guide you. Out.”
A short while later, a heron drew alongside them and began to show them where they would find the by-now heavily pregnant Frau Lawton.
“Oh isss not pissible” said Guillaume. “No space for new chick inside.”
“Oi! Yez a bluddi doctor or a delivery, laddie?” replied the heron. “Get you down there and do yer bis. If yez hadnae fekked up the job in the first place this’d be a doddle.”
Harry showed Guillaume how to fly above the train, waiting for it to stop at a station before entering the carriage and pressing the large sac into an already-bulging tummy.
“Good luck, lil man, yez gonna need it” Harry the heron said, patting a beak on it for luck.
And so it was that only one of us made it. A cock up in the despatch department and even then Guillaume had picked the wrong sister. Even legends make mistakes so thanks be for herons with whom I still have a great relationship.