Mother Autumn is Coming
Down by the golden grasses where the cottonwood trees grow tall and strong, the water on the pond is rippling. Brother Wind is breezing through the forest village. He dances with the red and golden leaf fairies clustered on the treetops, and by the hollow tree roots. ‘Autumn is coming, Autumn is coming,’ their fairy song travels in the wind.
Little green Mossy Boy hears their song from his home in the gnarled roots of Grandfather Tree. He watches and listens. Mossy Boy knows it is time for birds to fly south, and for animals to search for their winter homes.
Red Cap the Woodpecker hears the fairy song too. ‘Time to get to work,’ he says, as he tappity tap taps perfect round holes in the fallen trees by the pond. Soon beetles and bugs will need homes for winter. Red Cap is pleased with the welcoming round rooms he is making at the Fallen Tree Inn.
Under the Willow tree where branches hang low over the pond, the fuzzy ducklings born last spring are almost all grown now. They hear the fairy song too. They quack, quack, quack and join in the song. Already they smell the perfume of autumn leaves that have fallen by the reeds and shore.
Everywhere in the forest they prepare for autumn.
Red Cap is the first to see her, there down the pathway where the Willow trees make an archway to greet her. There, Mother Autumn grandly walks, her large cloak gathered around her. How pleased she is that all is ready. Autumn has come to the forest village at last.
She stands in the golden grasses and calls to her children. ‘Come my children come! She opens her cloak wide to give shelter to the seed children. Here is your place to rest and sleep all winter long dear ones. I will keep you warm and safe until winter is gone and Lady Spring comes to help you grow. Come, rest in my mantle.’
From everywhere, from the milk seed pods, from the maple trees, from bush and flower and fruit, the seed babies are gathered up by Brother Wind. He gently carries them to the great Mother Autumn. ‘Autumn is here, Autumn is here’, the fairies sing. They nestle in her warm cloak, giggling and wiggling, so happy to be in such a cozy home for winter. ‘Thank you Mother Autumn’, they say. Before long, they yawn, settle down in their beds, and fall sound asleep.
with love and best wishes, Suzanne Down
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