OLE LUK-OIE 203
And all the birds sang too, the flowers danced on their stalks, and the old trees nodded, Justus if Ole Luk-Oie had been telling stories to them.
How the rain was streaming down without! Hjalmar could hear it in his sleep ; and when Ole Luk-Oie opened a window, the water stood right up to the window-sill: there was quite a lake outside, and a noble ship lay close by the house.
' If thou wilt sail with me, little Hjalmar,' said Ole Luk-Oie, ' thou canst voyage to-night to foreign climes, and be back again to-morrow.'
And Hjalmar suddenly stood in his Sunday clothes upon the glorious ship, and immediately the weather became fine, and they sailed through the streets, and steered round by the church ; and now everything was one great wild ocean. They sailed on until land was no longer to be seen, and they saw a number of storks, who also came from their home, and were travelling towards the hot countries : these storks flew in a row, one behind the other, and they had already flown far—far ! One of them was so weary that his wings would scarcely carry him farther : he was the very last in the row, and soon remained a great way behind the rest; at last he sank, with outspread wings, deeper and deeper ; he gave a few more strokes with his pinions, but it was of no use ; now he touched the rigging of the ship with his feet, then he glided down from the sail, and—bump !—he stood upon the deck.
Now the cabin boy took him and put him into the hencoop with the Fowls, Ducks, and Turkeys ; the poor Stork stood among them quite embarrassed.
1 Just look at the fellow !' said all the Fowls.
And the Turkey-cock swelled himself up as much as ever he could, and asked the Stork who he was ; and the Ducks walked backwards and quacked to each other, ' Quackery ! quackery !'
And the Stork told them of hot Africa, of the pyramids, and of the ostrich, which runs like a wild horse through the desert; but the Ducks did not understand what he said, and they said to one another,