1. The stones from which storks obtain newborn babies to deliver to human households.

Child: Where do babies come from?

Parent: The stork brings them, dear.

Child: Where do the storks get the babies?

Parent: From Babies "R" Us.

Child: No, seriously.

Parent: They get the babies from caves. And talus slopes... Which are far, far away from here... So... there you go.


Child: How did the babies get into the caves?


Parent: They're born there.

Child: Born?

Parent: From rocks. The babies emerge from the rocks.

Child: Regular old rocks?

Parent: No, of course not. You can't just get babies out of any old rock. You need special rocks. Baby-forming rocks. They're called Adeborsteine*.

Child: Where do Adeborst--

Parent: Finish your breakfast. Go play.


2. On the island of Rugen, local tradition has it that the storks pulled babies out of the sea, and placed them on specific flat rocks to dry out before delivery to their human homes.

3. The small black and white stones that children on Rugen would throw backwards over their heads while asking the stork to bring them a brother or sister.


* In Low German, literally: "Stork-stone"


Alexander Francis Chamberlain, The Child and Childhood in Folk-Thought: Studies of the Activities and Influences of the Child Among
Primitive Peoples, Their Analogues and Survivals in the Civilization of To-Day,

Marvin Margolis and Philip Parker (1972). "The Stork Fable—Some Psychodynamic Considerations." Journal of the American Psychoanalytical Association, 20:494-511.

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