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Alciato's Book of Emblems

Emblem 30

A favour ought to be returned

In her airy nest, the stork,
remarkable for tenderness,
nurtures her unclothed chicks, her lovely children.
And this mother looks to the time
when such services will be returned to her,
when, as an old woman she will often need their help.
Nor do her devoted offspring disappoint this hope,
but bear the weakened bodies of their parents on their shoulders,
and offer them food from their very mouths.