In a warm little bed, in a little green house, Mother Nature had tucked three baby boys safely away for a long sleep.
The house was not like the ones we live in, for it had only one tiny room, with no windows, and the door was fastened so tightly that no one could get in or out. For many, many bright sunny days the little boys were sleeping, and all this time they were growing a little larger and a little larger, just as you all are growing.
But by and by the days began to grow cooler. The green leaves put on their autumn dresses of red and yellow, and came rustling down from the tree to play with the wind.
Then the babies stirred in their little bed, for the Wind was busy painting brown their green house, and he whistled so loudly at his work that they heard him in their dreams. Loose behind the Wind came his friend, Jack Frost, a roguish little fellow. Gently he knocked at the door of the house, and softly he whimpered, “Come out, little boys; come out and play with me!”
But Mother Nature only tucked her babies more snugly into bed, and answered: “No, not yet, dear little ones; sleep a little longer!” Then Jack Frost went away to play with the red and yellow leaves; but soon he came flying back, calling, “Come out for a frolic with me, boys; come out for a frolic!” And again Mother Nature answered: “Not yet! Not yet, my children!”
Again came Jack Frost, and knocked very loudly at the door: “Come out! Come out!” he called. And the little brothers cried, “Yes, yes, dear Mother, let us go and play with Jack Frost and the Wind!”
Then the mother smiled, a little sadly, and answered: “Yes, for you have grown to be big boys now, and it is time for you to go!”
So she unfastened the door and opened it wide, and out the three hurried. But soon they found that the big world was not at all like their warm, soft little house. The Wind blew and whistled around them, and made them shiver; and Jack Frost was a rough playfellow, though he meant to be kind, and they soon grew weary and called to their mother: “Dear Mother Nature, we are tired; put us to sleep again!”
Then the mother spread over them, where they lay on the ground, a warm covering of “red and yellow and faded brown.”
By and by she heard their sleepy voices again: “Kind Mother, we are cold!”
Then Mother Nature sent a soft, white covering of snow, and wrapped them in it so nicely, that they had hardly time to murmur “Thank you, good Mother,” before they were fast asleep.
And there they will stay, till the warm sun and the gentle breezes and the soft rain wake them in the sweet springtime.
Can you guess who the little brothers were, in their snug, warm house?
They were the Chestnut boys, and the brown burr is their little house.