Andersen Fairy Tales

Oh Hans! Babies Don’t Come from Storks

Oh Hans! Babies Don't Come from StorksOh Hans! Babies Don’t Come from Storks

Where do babies come from? Many parents dread this question right? Well, babies come from storks, or magical fairies, or special watering cans, surely, they don’t exist because of sex?

This conversation always reminds me of a scene from Addams Family Values. The Addams are at the hospital, Morticia is having a baby. There are some other kids there and their mom is also having a baby. The girl is telling Wednesday and Pugsley about how their mom got pregnant. There was something about a fairy maybe and something else, it was a big drawn-out explanation as to how their mom got pregnant. Wednesday simply says, “Our parents had sex.” In the end, it’s the simplest explanation.

Hans was quite fond of the idea of stork bringing babies. Hans was a grown man. I’m pretty sure he knew where babies came from. Even if Hans never got around to having sex, he had probably figured out that women got pregnant because they had sex with a man at some point. That didn’t stop him from writing about storks bringing babies. Hans even wrote an entire story about how there were babies in a pond and then they got put in a flower and then the story took them somewhere.

Then there were all the other stories where Hans mentioned storks taking babies to people’s homes. How did the storks get their babies? Did it just magically happen? Or were storks the only ones who had sex?

I don’t know if Hans’ thought up this entire idea that storks brought babies, or maybe if he just took the idea and ran with it. Because of Hans’ promotion of the idea, no matter who thought it up, we had a whole bunch of parents tell their kids that storks bring babies and it’s even been popularized in our culture. I’ve seen plenty of cartoons about storks bringing the baby, sometimes the wrong baby. There’s at least one Looney Tunes short to that effect.

I guess there was a point when people were so squeamish about this that they had to make up some fanciful story about where babies came from, but Hans, why? Why Hans why? Why write about it? Why perpetuate inaccurate ideas? Kids may be naive and sometimes stupid, but they’re smarter than “a stork brought your little brother.”


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