A Surprise

Mr. Chipmunk was playing among the trees one lovely autumn day, when he came across a pile of delicious-looking acorns and he exclaimed, “What a feast!” He decided to cover these acorns and keep them until spring, as he had enough nuts in his storeroom for winter. The little acorns overheard him and laughed, saying that something beautiful and wonderful would happen to them if they went to bed like good children and lay very still when the warm spring days came.

The little acorns lay very quiet where Mr. Chipmunk had put them. Soon they could hear the cold winds blowing, but the brilliant leaves falling made a beautiful warm cover for them. Then Jack Frost came, and the snow fell softly on their bed like white wool. The wind singing through the trees lulled them to sleep, and they had a long, long nap.

When they awoke, it was warm and sunny. “It must be nearly time for us to throw off these heavy blankets and stretch up where we can see the sky, for I can feel the sun’s warm rays,” said one. “And I can move!” cried another. “Oh!” exclaimed a third, “I have burst my brown shell, and now I am reaching up!” Soon the little roots had grown down deep into the earth, and the tiny green shoots had pushed their way through the darkness to a bright, glorious world – a world very different from the cold, dark earth they had known before.

There were beautiful flowers and green grasses all around them, and tiny new leaves on the trees, and birds singing on the branches. The acorn shoots hardly recognized Mother Oak Tree; she was so beautiful in her new spring gown of green. The little shoots were very happy, for they knew they were to grow taller and more beautiful each year, like their grand and stately mother who stood nearby.

Mr. Chipmunk came running along one day soon after this, looking for his acorns. When he reached the place where the baby oaks grew, he looked in amazement, for he was sure that they stood in the very spot where he had hidden his nuts. “Well,” he said, after thinking along, long time, “perhaps some hungry little chipmunk found my acorns and carried them home. But who could have put all these green things here, I wonder?”