ONCE upon a time there was a stork who could not rear any young. His wife's eggs had become addled, or something else had happened to them, and the long and short of it was that there were no young birds. Very distressed, he was walking about in the forest when he noticed a little tomtit on the ground. Seeing he was so small, he thought it was a young bird, a chick that had fallen out from a stork's nest somewhere. So he picked him up gently and carried him to his own nest, and there he kept him and fed him most tenderly. He would fly about for miles to get worms to feed the little bird. The days passed, and the stork could not help wondering why that little bird of his did not grow: it remained so small. One day there came a down-pour of cold rain mixed with hailstones. In order to protect his little young, he put the tomtit under his wing, and going into the forest placed himself under the branches of a thick-leaved tree to shelter himself from the rain and hail. In the trunk of that tree there was a little hollow. As soon as tomtit espied it he glided into it, and from there he kept up a conversation with the stork. Among other things, the stork said, "What terrible weather that is, I cannot remember anything like it all my life."
"What," piped little tomtit, "you call this bad weather. You should have seen what bad weather means, when the red snow fell."
"Hush, you little thing," said the stork, "how do you come to speak of red snow, you have never seen such a thing?"
"Oh," replied tomtit, "I remember it quite well, although it was so many years ago."
"You remember it, you little cunning beast, who made yourself out to be quite a little chicken!" and the sharp beak of the stork pierced the hollow of the tree and spiked the insolent little tomtit, who had made a fool of the stork.