I’m Klepetan and you may have never heard of me, it doesn’t even matter, now I’m going to tell you my story.
I am a stork and I do not bring children as many people say, I just live an ordinary family life. Like so many other storks.
Maybe now is the time to hear what I want to tell you, because I’m pretty old. Just last year I thought it was over, but here it wasn’t so I got another chance to get back to my nest.
But this whole story of mine would make no sense if there was no Malena. Now you wonder who she is?
She is my whole world.
Strange for someone who travels thousands and thousands of miles away every fall and has really seen literally the whole world in these seventeen years of mine.
Anyway, all the beauties and wonders of the world are not even a servant to my Malena.
Now that I’m back south again, and I’m leaving her for who knows how many times I remember our whole life. I can’t lie, even though my stork brothers wouldn’t agree with me, people helped us a lot.
Once upon a time when we were both young, she broke her wing and couldn’t take off with me to warmer regions. And then the man on whose chimney we built the nest came to the rescue. Although I had to fly away, the man took care of Malena all winter. He healed, warmed, fed her. Everything that was needed.
Malena stayed on the property and waited for me to return.
Every year Malena gave me a few young ones. It wasn't until last year when I didn't show up on time and a young stork began to hang around her. Even the man thought I wouldn’t come again, but when I showed up and broke all the eggs in anger, it was the only single year we didn’t have young.
I didn't even care, Malena was fine and I was already happy about it.
Now as I fly through the expanses again and below me I see all sorts of wonders and people as tiny as dots, I think about everything we’ve been through.
Malena was not my first choice and I searched for a long time for who would suit me. I didn’t know exactly why, but when we finally met my heart chose and it was that day that would mark my whole life.
When she could no longer travel, every year I told her about everything that was happening, what had changed, what I had learned. She would all be excited to listen and absorb.
Malena also learned a lot from the people who cared for her. Although we and people are different worlds, we have found a common language. The man loved both me and her, making no difference.
Now I am almost certain that this is my last time. I didn't say anything to Malena, let her have at least one more carefree winter. The farther I go from her and our home, the more my heart tightens. I'm old, that's not strange.
In the man's eyes I saw that he knew too and even though he didn't say anything I was happy because my Malena will miss nothing.
Although I didn't spend as much time with people as Malena, I knew what a man has been through in his life. He took care of his family, but also mine. For this one had to have a big heart, and the man had it.
Over time, we gained almost world fame, when our story appeared on all portals, though man did not do it for glory. He had none of that, he just wanted to share our and his happiness with everyone.
I think about him and Malena. Even if I was rude last year, now I have come to terms with the fact that Malena will have to find another one. It is in our nature. She will be sad for a while. All those years we spent together are no small thing. But life will go on without me. Of course it will go.
We only had a lot of cubs, we fulfilled our task, and we were lucky to have each other.
This time it never seemed so long to me, in fact I don’t even know why I went for it. At one of the rest stops where we stand I just don’t join the group that continues. Why? I just don’t want to die far from my home.
And I just turn back. I’m almost halfway there, but I don’t care. I'm starting to fly back. No I will not return to my village, there is one place that exists nearby and I have long ago designated it to die there.
It will take me a long time to get back, and I am getting more and more tired. Now all that matters to me is to go back, not to crash somewhere in an unfamiliar area that means nothing to me.
As time goes on I need a lot of invigorating cells. I don't care, I'm getting closer. Every mile traveled is getting harder for me, but this is my last important task and I am determined to fulfill it.
It's almost night when I arrive. It’s already really cold and my old bones are suffering like never before. I'm home, I succeeded, thank you to all the forces of the universe.
Once again I fly over the dormant village and although I don't see Malena or our man, I know they are there. I know they sleep, warm, fed and loved.
I leave them to each other.
And strength finally betrays me. I land not far from the village in a small bay by the river. It is shielded from view and almost no one ever comes.
I position myself as best I can and close my eyes.
I am no longer hungry or thirsty, I need nothing more. So that's what the end looks like…
I'm not even scared, I achieved everything I wanted, and here this last wish came true. I have no reason to be unhappy either, I have lived life to the fullest and now I just need to bring it to an end.
Maybe this will be the first time something that doesn’t depend on my will. Now it doesn't even matter. I relax and let go, until I see Malena in front of my eyes and I know that I have fulfilled my meaning. Could you ever wish for something more…