The Complete Fairy Tales & Other Stories
By Hans Christian Andersen - online book

Oxford Complete Illustrated Edition all his stories written between 1835 and 1872.

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174                              THE STORKS
we fly round to the right. One, two, three !—now to the left round the chimney 1 See, that was very good ! the last flap with the wings was so neat and correct that you shall have permission to-morrow to fly with me to the marsh ! Several nice stork families go there with their young : show them that mine are the nicest, and that you can stalk proudly ; that looks well, and will get you consideration.'
' But are we not to take revenge on the rude boys ? ' asked the young Storks.
' Let them scream as much as they like. You will fly up to the clouds, and get to the land of the pyramids, when they will have to shiver, and not have a green leaf •or a sweet apple.'
' Yes, we will revenge ourselves !' they whispered to one another ; and then the exercising went on.
Among all the boys down in the street, the one most bent upon singing the teasing song was he who had begun it, and he was quite a little boy. He could hardly be more than six years old. The young Storks certainly thought he was a hundred, for he was much bigger than their mother and father ; and how should they know what age children and grown-up people may be ? Their revenge was to come upon this boy, for it was he who had begun, and he always kept on. The young Storks were very angry; and as they grew bigger they were less inclined to bear it: at last their mother had to promise them that they should be revenged, but not till the last day of their stay.
' We must first see how you behave at the grand review. It you get through badly, so that the general stabs you through the chest with his beak, the boys will be right, at least in one way. Let us see.'
1 Yes, you shall see ! ' cried the young Storks ; and then they took all imaginable pains. They practised every day, and flew so neatly and so lightly that it was a pleasure to see them.
Now the autumn came on ; all the Storks began to assemble, to fly away to the warm countries while it is winter here. That was a review. They had to fly over forests and villages, to show how well they could soar, for it was a long journey they had before them. The young