Fritz

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    • "Storchenhof” Papendorf in the eastern part of Germany, in Papendorf/Mecklenburg-Vorpommern near the polish boarder. Jens Krüger together with his wife Doreen built up, and are still building their “Storchenhof”, a place for injured storks, but not only storks, also falcons, buzzards, swans.
      Even an Emu was there last year before it found a place in a small Zoo.

      How it all started. Actually long before Fritz Jens and his family cared for injured and homeless animals, but the following story was the start in the internet:

      The story of stork “Fritz”

      It was the 19th of June 2002 when infront of a family´s housedoor in a small village called Pampow (eastern part of Germany) a baby-stork was lying. Obviously the storkparents kicked it out of the nest. Why, was ther may be not enough food for the 4 babystorks or…..? nobody knows! So ”Fritz” first food was catfood, the small stork was terribly hungry. “Fritz” became a real “housestork” Soon the whole village took care of “Fritz” and he rather was a loved mascot in the village. And Fritz just trusted peoples. Everybody knew, that punctually at lunchtime Fritz came to the pub of the village to pick up some sausage and cheese ……

      In mid November of the same year some special “animal-lover” shot him in his right leg and in the same night Jens was asked to pick up Fritz and take him over, what Jens immediately did. And soon Fritz was ok again. Until July the next year when hooligans chased him with a moped and hit him so, that his left leg was smashed and had to be amputated.

      Lucky enough one expert one master of orthopaedic instruments (!?)made an artificial limb for Fritz,



      so Fritz was able to walk again. And he managed that very well! So one day he decided that every stork is going for winter holiday to the south (Spain or Africa, - but the storks from the eastern side of Europe mostly fly via Rumania, Turkey, Israel, Egypt to Africa.) and so he started his journey. But after about 40 km he landed on a roof, slipped and fell down. Everybody in the area knew about the stork with the artificial limb and where he belonged to and so Jens was called to pick up his stork…….

      This migration instinct (!?) storks generally have during the first year of their life, sometimes also the 2nd. If storks didn´t migrate during this time, they loose this instinct and just stay where they are. And that´s what Fritz did, stay on his “Storchenhof” where he definitely was the “boss”!



      in a beautiful surrounding where he made short trips to the neighborhood:







      With all kinds of other animals:









      Fritz always in the middle:

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Springtime 2005 Fritz decided he needs his own home on the roof. And he started to bring all kind of branches to build a nest. So Jens put him a storkbasket on the roof of his house



      and Fritz built and was happy:









      Now Fritz could see everything and if he wanted he was to be seen ….:

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • One day in May 2005 big excitement, - a stork came along:
      Fritz got so excited and presented himself in a most important way:



      And according to Fritz behaviour it must have been a female stork, and …. She showed interest:



      However, as time showed, she was more interested in Fritzens fish-supply,



      because when she had eaten enough she disappeared and nobody saw her again in Papendorf….:

      Poor Fritz, that was his only lady-experience
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Of course he also had an eye to the real Storknest where migrating storks lived, but as soon as they were gone Fritz moved:





      No, not to spend the cold winter up there, for that he knew better places!



      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • In autuum there is pumpkin season



      and of course Fritz also had an eye on this:





      and when other storks went near to the pumpkin fields, there was always Fritz around to watch that nobody made any nonsense!



      and when the pumpkins were put close to the road for sale



      there was always someone who was on alert:



      …….Fritz!!!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • One of Fritzens daily habituals was to visit Jens elder brother, who is also living on the Storchenhof.:

      Good Morning!



      The breakfeast table was layed, so Fritz came just in time …..

      After “work was done” Fritz said well-behaved “thank you” after all he had a something else to do …..



      but before Fritz could leave, Jens brother clapped his hands :



      and Fritz answered in his own language:





      before he left for the moment.

      See you ……

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Fritz had always a ‘helping hand’! As soon as he recognized somebody who made excavations or just digging soil he immediately appeared ‘helpfully’ at the site.



      It was in summer 2006, when an excavator came to Jens neighbourhood to dig a big hole (!?). The soil they took out came to the Storchenhof, Jens could very much use it. Sometimes the excavator was stopped, because either Fritz was in the hole or on the way to where the soil was gone. In this soil so many nice little insects and animals where to be found,- Fritz couldn´t resist ….. so he was really in a hurry to run from one place to the other:

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • One story of Fritz, unfortunately without any picture, was Fritzens last farewell to a friend.

      When Fritz came first to Papendorf , before his leg was completely damaged, he made special friends with a lady in the small village of Papendorf. Nearly every day he went to visit her, which made her very happy, and she never forgot to give Fritz some special tibits.

      One day this woman, Fritzens friend, died. On the day of her funeral there was at first a ceremony in the church before the funeral procession walked to the other end of the village, where the cemetery is located

      And God may know who gave Fritz the message, - he was there in front of the church and waited till the coffin was brought out and the funeral procession started their way to the cemetery.

      And for Fritz it seemed to be a matter of honour to take his place directly behind the coffin to accompany his friend on her last way through the whole village. Fritz stopped in front of his Storchenhof, went to the side where he stood respectfully until the whole procession passed by.

      Last Farewell to a friend!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Until 2 years ago there was a kindergarden just beside the Storchenhof. Fritz frequently went there to pay a visit. One day he found something nobody seemed to take care of, so he took it, - it was a little mop for cleaning. Fritz immediately flew to his nest and started cleaning up:



      He frequently used this mop sometime more energetic, sometimes less….

      After work was done Fritz put this mop on a certain place and warned with some threatening gesture not to dare to touch his mop:



      “It belongs to me, - Fritz!!!”

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Sometime, mostly in summertime, when the weather is nice Jens and his family and friends like to have barbeque. But do they have to be so noisy!? Fritz told them immediately what he was thinking about:

      He complained …..


      and complained …..


      and complained ……



      How successful he was, I don´t know!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • One of Fritzens favourit activities when he was still young (later he rather gave up such activities….) was a visit on the main road to experience how the fast driving traffic showed suddenly the necessary respect and just made a stop in front of Fritz ……



      No, of course not always only in front of Fritz, but also the other foster storks, which Fritz brought along to show them what is makeable ….Often enough that meant stress pure,- not only for Fritz and his companions!!

      Why Fritz loved to visit this very road had an actual reason. Punctually 7 o´clock every morning and every evening Fritz landed beside of this road, never on the road, no, no, - Fritz knew very well how to behave and not to shock the drivers ciontinuesly! The reason for Fritzens visits there was the meadow infront of the church on the other side of the road. On this meadow there were so many vermin and other delicious insects.. ….so Fritz just had to cross the road to go there!

      Of course one or the other driver got frightened, when they suddenly saw a stork crossing the road. But who ever drove there every day, he knew and ‘expected’ Fritz
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Not only the direct neighbour of the Storchenhof had his own vegetable garden, many of the peoples in Papendorf (302 inhabitants) have their own vegetable garden, where they grow in
      spring what they wanted to harvest in summer.

      For example onions. First young shoots look out of the earth and exactly this called Fritz on the place! Didn´t these little green things t look like worms digging through the grounds!? Fritz, tidy as he was, of course had to dig them out, but …. after he found out that this was a mistake he just left them!

      Unfortunately once in a while he also spottet a chick …. And this he didn´t leave. Jens often enough had to bring compensation.
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • One a Thursday in spring 2006, around lunchtime there was one of many telephone-calls for Jens to pick up his stork. This time the call came from a school close to the polish boarder, about 25 km away from Papendorf.

      Fritz had payed his visit to the school when all the children wanted to go home. But Fritz was standing infront of the entrance/exit and the teachers got the very impression that Fritz didn´t want anybody to leave the building …..

      Wherefrom they got Jens phone number Jens doesn´t know, but Fritz was as famous as a 'coloured dog' (german saying “bekannt wie ein bunter Hund”) and Jens most likely the same……

      Interessting is, that this school is only about 7 km away from Fritzens birthplace. Maybe he just wanted to visit this place!??? It was migration time …..

      Jens thoughts were quite different: what would happen, when Fritz once would cross the polish boarder??? Of course he didn´t know at that time that this never could happen anymore …….

      But after this trip Fritz was placed for the next days under house-arrest!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • On Tuesday in this „week of trips“ Fritz suddenly found it very neccessarry to accompany a funeral procession. The funeral for a young man who was burnt to death. And Fritz took his place directly behind the coffin.

      Some of the peoples around the funeral got quite nerveous and finally one man called Jens to pick up his stork. But on this very day Jens didn´t have a car…. So he went to the neighbourhood to ask for help, but nobody was home. That his lunch was cooking on the oven he had forgotten …..

      Result: no car, burnt lunch and stork Fritz who was exactly 30 minutes later “like called” standing in the kitchen:





      Jens once more got by chance notice of Fritz joining another funeral procession

      Fritz often visited the cemetary in Papendorf. He loved flowers and to take care for them. Mainly after funerals there were so many nice arrangements were put on the graves. One thing Fritz couldn´t stand: yellow pansies, only yellow ones, the others he never touched! Jens never found out why.....

      Very fond Fritz was of catkins, which often were integrated in the arrangements…… these he had to check more closely and for that took them out of the arrangements…….
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Whenever Jens brother goes for fishing it happens that he is bringing one or two eals along. Only not to good, when he just put them somewhere….. Fritz had a sharp view on what is going on around his Storchenhof! And he was quick around the corner to help himself to take his part!



      And as quick as he had shown up he disappeared again!!!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • What do people say!? „Mens best toy is their car“.

      What would Fritz, most likely a male stork, have been without “his” car!? How would Jens be able to pick him up, when he made one of his trips in the further surrounding!? Fritz specially loved his car and one of his early morning exercises was to pay a visit to his car to check if everything was in order.



      Well, not really to Jens’ happiness, who foresaw new scratches on the lacquer ….

      But Fritz really wanted only to see, that everything was in order! Only the antenna was somehow disturbing:



      He tried hard to win the fight, but he never succeeded:



      On this picture



      somebody could sense, what Jens meant when he says „when Fritz makes such goggle-eyes and presses the feathers around the neck …..oh oh, then somebody should bring himself in safety …..” Jens knew what he was talking about, because he always was Fritzens favourite “victim”!!!

      Fritz also didn´t like getting disturbed, for example when Jens had the idea that Fritz had now enough morning exercises on his car und should go away, then Fritz showed him right away what he thought of such unnecessary ideas:





      But here, isn´t that a nice picture of the dreamteam Jens and Fritz!?:

      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Fritz and neighbours cats

      Every day they are coming, the neighbors cats …..



      and Fritz knew it wouldn´t be long before there would be some action in the kitchen….Not to loose track of things he had to make a plan…..:



      before he looked more closely



      And also the guests knew where to look in, that something comes out ……:



      And like every day it also worked on this day:



      Like it should be for a decent stork, Fritz had a place where he first pulled his foodstuff through the water (to wash it!?):



      When Fritz finished his lunch (or was it breakfeast or dinner!?) he urgently had to check what the neighbours actually got to eat and if they maybe, polite enough, had some leftovers for him:




      I am afraid I am at the end of my Fritz-stories. But here is one more:
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • It wasn´t always too easy for Jens …… as mentioned before he was always and anywhere Fritzens “favorite object” …..

      Sometimes the chimney had to be cleared and for this Jens had to climb the roof, - Fritzens roof! Too much “nearness” in his very territory Fritz didn´t really appreciate too much.
      Jens also wanted to do the job without Fritzens knowledge, ….. but not so with always watchful Fritz! Who immediately recognized the intruder and came running up to ‘clear the frontiers’:



      Then Jens was in trouble:



      And had to defend himself:



      Not really harmless …… for Jens. Such a stork….(bill or beak) can be quite dangerous if he hits you. Jens knows what he is talking about!!!
      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    • Memories of Fritz at the Storchenhof who had an deadly accident on September 30 2009, when a tractor, he was running behind collecting worms, drove backwards without knowing Fritz was behind.....:



      Viele Grüße von
      Brit

      „Man sieht nur mit dem Herzen gut. Das Wesentliche ist für die Augen unsichtbar.“

      Antoine de Saint-Exupéry