S UMMER had been a joyful time in the meadow. It had been a busy time, too, and from morning till night the chirping and humming of the happy people there had mingled with the rustle of the leaves, and the soft "swish, swish," of the tall grass, as the wind passed over it.
True, there had been a few quarrels, and some unpleasant things to remember, but these little people were wise enough to throw away all the sad memories and keep only the glad ones. And now the summer was over. The leaves of the forest trees were turning from green to scarlet, orange, and brown. The beech and hickory nuts were only waiting for a friendly frost to open their outer shells, and loosen their stems, so that they could fall to the earth.
The wind was cold now, and the meadow people knew that the
time had come to get ready for winter. One chilly
Caterpillar said to another,
And his friend replied: "We must hurry then, or we shall be too old and stiff to spin good ones."
The Garter Snake felt sleepy all the time, and declared that in a few days he would doze off until spring.
The Tree Frog
had chosen his winter home already, and the Bees were making
the most of their time in visiting the last fall flowers,
and gathering every bit of honey they could find for their
The last eggs had been laid, and the food had been placed
beside many of them for the babies that would hatch out in
the spring. Nothing was left but to say
Everybody came, and all who could sing did so, and the Crickets and Mosquitoes made music for the rest to dance by.
The Tree Frog led off with a black and yellow Spider, the
The Snail and the fat, old Cricket had meant to look on, and really did so, for a time, from a warm corner by the tree, but the Cricket couldn't stand it to not join in the fun. First, his eyes gleamed, his feelers waved, and his feet kept time to the music, and, when a frisky young Ant beckoned to him, he gave a great leap and danced with the rest, balancing, jumping, and circling around in a most surprising way.
When it grew dark, the Fireflies' lights shone like tiny stars, and the dancing went on until all were tired and ready to sing together the last song of the summer, for on the morrow they would go to rest. And this was their song: