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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Pelican or a Stork?

Dylanís bill was full of fish. They squirmed about, trying to get out, but he kept his bill shut tight. He stood on a wooden pole, watching the waves swirl around it as the tide rolled in. The sky was filled with gray clouds and the sun peaked through now and then, sending its golden rays down, warming Dylanís feathers. He flapped his wings and flew off towards a pile of rocks that were jutting out of the water. There, he gobbled down his fish. They tasted delicious.

After heíd finished his last fish, he heard a noise. He looked up and saw a stork flying overhead. It carried a bundle in its bill. Dylan flew up to the stork and flew along beside it. "Whatís in the bundle?" he asked. "Itís making a lot of noise!"

Though it was difficult for the stork to answer, he mumbled, "Itís a baby!"

"A baby? Is that what you said?" the pelican asked.

"Iím delivering a baby!" the stork replied.

Dylan looked at the storkís long, golden, and very sharp bill. A white cloth was tied around it and inside there was indeed a wee baby. Its skin was pink and looked soft and it had a golden curl on top of its head with a pink ribbon in it. Dylan watched it squirming around. "Where are you taking that baby? Itís a wee lass, isnít it?" he asked.

"To her mum and dad. Now, enough questions, Iíve got a delivery to make. Cheerio," the stork called and flew off to the right.

Dylan flapped his wings and watched the bird and the baby disappear behind a hill. "I want to be a stork! I want to deliver babies. Iíve got a nice pouch here to carry it; much safer than the cloth." He flew down to the rocks and waited until he saw the stork flying back. He called, "Hey, stork! Where do you go to get the babies?"

The stork looked at Dylan and scoffed, "You canít deliver babies. Youíre a pelican. Only storks deliver babies! Your bill has pieces of fish in it and it smells horrible. Itís not a place for a baby."

"I can clean my pouch," he frowned.

"Absolutely not. Who has ever heard of a pelican delivering babies? Everyone knows that storks deliver babies!" it answered and flew away.

Dylan was determined to be a stork, so he followed the bird. It seemed to fly for hours. Finally it landed on a distant island. "Wow! Look at all those cabbages," Dylan said, looking down. He watched the stork land at the end of the cabbage patch. There were hundreds of huge green cabbages.

A Pelican or a Stork?

Several storks were standing nearby and saw Dylan land. They walked towards him. "What are you doing here? Pelicans arenít allowed. This island is for storks only! I suggest you leave," one of them said.

"I want to deliver babies. I have a pouch and a baby will fit in here nicely." Dylan opened his bill to show them.

"Whew! That smells horrid in there. We canít put a baby in that bill. Be off with you!" the stork shouted and walked away.

Dylan sat on the ground pouting. He wiped tears from his eyes. "I want to be a stork," he sniffled.

The stork that had flown by earlier, heard Dylanís sobs. He whispered something to the head stork and walked over to the pelican. "Iíve talked to my boss," he coughed, letting Dylan know he was standing there.

Dylan looked up. "Yes?"

"He said that we could probably let you help, but only with animal babies. I donít imagine raccoons and beavers and foxes would mind the fishy smell in your bill. Come with me," the stork said. He took Dylan to another part of the island. The cabbages there were reddish-purple, instead of light green. "This is our animal baby cabbage patch. Watch," he pointed. Just then a baby raccoon burst from a cabbage. The stork picked it up. "Hello, little lad. Are you ready to meet your mum?"

The raccoon looked at the stork. Its big brown eyes seemed to smile. "I get to take the baby raccoon?" Dylan asked.

"Weíll give you a chance and see how you do. Take him to his mum and dad in Rose Petal Glen, up in the Cairngorms. Can you do that?" the stork asked.

"Oh yes, let me try, please," Dylan begged.

The stork laid the baby raccoon carefully inside Dylanís bill. "Be careful with him. Heís a bonny wee lad, isnít he? His mum and dad will be pleased. Off you go then, Dylan. When you deliver him, come back and report to me. If youíve done your job correctly, weíll let you deliver other baby animals."

Dylan made sure the baby raccoon was safe, shut his bill and flew off. He flapped his wings and headed for Rose Petal Glen. He circled high above and saw the raccoons anxiously awaiting their baby. He flew down and delivered the baby to his mumís arms and then flew back to the island. "Well, you did a great job!" the stork said. Dylan felt so happy and so proud. From that day on he was the official baby animal deliverer for the whole of Scotland. Some days he carried lambs, puppies, kittens, bear cubs and chicks to their mums and dads. One day he had to carry a baby highland calf. He had to flap extra hard as it was very big and heavy, but did his job well.

So the next time you see a pelican flying across the top of the waves, it might just be Dylan on his way to northern Scotland with a wee highland cow in his bill!

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