Andersen Fairy Tales, Andersen-Hans Christian

What the Moon Saw-Thirteenth Evening

Moon by Ashe ArterberryWhat the Moon Saw-Thirteenth Evening

At a small cottage where only cabbage and potatoes grow, because who needs anything else, there was a little boy and a little girl. The little girl was intently watching an oak tree. She watched the oak tree because there was a stork nest built in it. The boy, her brother, asked her what she was doing.

The girl said she was watching the stork because someone said that they would have a new brother or sister today. The boy told her that it wasn’t true that storks brought babies. The boy had told this to a neighbor woman and the neighbor woman had laughed at him and the boy knew that storks did not really bring babies.

The boy told his sister that an angel brought the babies and no one ever saw it. Both children looked intently. There was a rustle of the willow tree they were sitting under and they both thought that perhaps it was the angel bringing the baby, but they didn’t see anything. A woman came to tell them that they had a little brother now. They both looked at each other knowingly because they believed they had already known the baby would come.

That was the thirteenth evening.


Who thought up this stork nonsense? I wish people would stop saying things like that. Just tell your kid where babies come from. I think this whole idea of trying to deter children from finding out where babies really come from is a generational thing.

Many of the mothers my age are being fairly open with telling their children about babies and where they come from. In fact I recently read quite a funny comment string on Facebook about one of my friends explaining where babies come from to her child. Let’s just say it ended in him wanting to know what a vagina looked like.

Despite this whole exchange being quite funny, I know there are people of older generations are appalled by the fact that all these young mothers are telling it to their kids straight. Don’t you remember the scene from Now and Then where the one girl still believed the stupid story her mother told her about where babies came from and she was like eleven or twelve? The man has a watering hose and the woman has a flower seed. Yeah, yeah, yeah…you know this isn’t doing anyone any favors.

People used to have a really hard time telling their kids that babies grew in a woman and came out of her vagina. They made up all kinds of stories. In thinking about this, you have to realize that this wasn’t how it had always been. People used to live in really close quarters. Little kids knew what caused babies to happen and how they came out because they shared a one room hut with their parents. It wasn’t until we got into the 1700s-ish that people started this nonsense about storks and angels and flowers.

For a while, people became really prudish. I hope somebody told Hans where babies actually come from because he keeps talking about all these storks.


These two children were still innocent enough to believe the fallacies about where babies come from that had been told to them by their elders, but they’re not stupid. The boy had believed in the storks, until a woman teased him about it. He knew that storks couldn’t have been where babies come from because this woman had laughed about it. Why would she laugh about something that was the truth? He picked up on this. Children are perceptive.

You can lie to them all you want about Santa Claus, The Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and where babies come from, but if you let your guard down for one minute they’re going to be smart enough to pick up on it. You can’t just tell the lie; you have to act the lie. The minute you let your act slip, they’re onto you. Don’t think you can get away with that whole “babies are brought by storks” thing for very long.


Just tell your kids where babies come from. There might be some moments when your kids shout out, “Penis,” or, “Vagina,” while you’re out shopping, but that’s life.

Weigh In

Yeah or Nay, tell your kids where babies come from?

At what age did you find out where babies came from?


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