One of my favorite French towns is Strasbourg in Alsace. In addition to charming timbered houses and canals, Strasbourg is famous for its stork population. Storks have long been an Alsatian symbol. The giant birds were becoming endangered, however, so the city built many platforms to encourage them to nest. Now more numerous than they ever were, the storks sometimes even choose to over-winter in their super-sized nests that often measure more than six feet across. I knew that storks brought babies, but an Alsatian custom says that children who want a little brother or sister should put a sugar cube on the window sill to attract the stork to visit.
Today’s saying, petit à petit l’oiseau fait son nid, (puhtee a puhtee luhwazo feh soh knee) literally means “little by little the bird makes its nest.” The idea is that any goal can be achieved through perseverance.