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Up to the present time it has not been ascertained from what place the storks come, or whither they go when they leave us. There can be no doubt but that, like the cranes, they come from a very great distance, the cranes being our winter, the storks our summer, guests. When about to take their departure, the storks assemble at a stated place, and are particularly careful that all shall attend, so that not one of their kind may be left behind, with the exception of such as may be in captivity or tamed; and then on a certain day they set out, as though by some law they were directed to do so. No one has ever yet seen a flight of cranes taking their departure, although they have been often observed preparing to depart; and in the same way, too, we never see them arrive, but only when they have arrived; both their departure as well as their arrival take place in the night. Although, too, we see them flying about in all directions, it is still supposed that they never arrive at any other time but in the night. Pythonos- come1 is the name given to some vast plains of Asia, where, as they assemble together, they keep up a gabbling noise, and tear to pieces the one that happens to arrive the last; after which they take their departure. It has been remarked that after the ides of August,2 they are never by any accident to be seen there.

There are some writers who assure us that the stork has no tongue. So highly are they esteemed for their utility in destroying serpents, that in Thessaly, it was a capital crime for any one to kill a stork, and by the laws the same penalty was inflicted for it as for homicide.

1 The "village of the Python," or "serpent." Gueroult suggests that this may be Serponouwtzi, beyond the river Oby, in Siberia.

2 Thirteenth of August.

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