The Wise Old Stork of Jerez

The Right Move

The wise old stork was stood on top of a bell tower as he looked around watching the swifts frantic in the sky. Below them, on a roof terrace, an old man, who was smoking a cigarette, was sat looking at a chess board. He occasionally looked up at the stork and the stork looked back at him. Down on the street cars wound slowly over the cobbles cutting through the sweltering silence of Jerez in the afternoon.

The Stork looked on as a swift flew close by and shouted hello.
‘Hello’ replied the stork.
‘What’s your hurry?’ He continued, as its short forked tail whizzed by his head.
‘I love doing things quickly.’ it replied. ‘I have to be especially quick now as a someone keeps removing my nest and I keep having to rebuild it.’

The Stork, a little bemused by the swifts comments, looked over at the old man on the terrace who was staring with intent at his chessboard and making careful notes in a notebook.

When the Swift returned the stork told him to stop and hover for a moment.
‘Listen. You see the old man playing chess?’ asked the stork.
‘Yes.’ replied the swift.
‘Sometimes in life, as in chess, you need to take a step back.’
‘What for?’
‘In order that you can take two steps forward.’
‘I don’t follow.’ the Swift said bemused.
‘You’re fighting a losing battle, and exhausting yourself at the same time because your nest keeps being taken but as the chess player will tell you, you can’t keep doing the same move and expect to win.’
‘So what should I do?’
‘Now you have taken a step back by stopping to think about it, you can take two steps forward. How can you stop your nest being taken?’

‘I should move it.’ the swift said, the realisation slowly dawning.
‘Exactly.’ said the Stork. ‘Your problem seemed complicated but so often the answers, simple. Especially when you take a step back. Now go and build somewhere out of reach!’
‘I will!’ said the swift turning upwards into the sky with fresh vision.