| Among the Meadow People|
|by Clara Dillingham Pierson|
|Delightful stories of field life for young children, relating incidents in the lives of birds, insects, and other small creatures who make the meadow their home. Each chapter features the story of one animal in its daily activities and interactions with the other animals inhabiting the meadow. Ages 5-7 |
 SUMMER 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
remem-  ber, 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, "Boo-oo! How cold it is! I must
find a place for my cocoon. Suppose we sleep side by side
this winter, swinging on the same bush?"
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 "Good-by," and fall
asleep. So a message was sent around the meadow for all to
come to a farewell party under the elm tree.
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
Garter Snake followed with a Potato Bug, and all the other
crawling people joined in the dance on the grass, while over
their heads the Butterflies and other light-winged ones
fluttered to and fro with airy grace.
 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
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:
The autumn leaves lying
So thick on the ground,
The summer Birds flying
The meadow around,
The Seed Babies dropping
Down out of our sight,
The Dragon-Flies stopping
A moment in flight,
The red Squirrels bearing
Their nuts to the tree,
The wild Rabbits caring
For babies so wee,
The sunbeams now showing
Are hazy and pale,
The warm breezes blowing
Have changed to a gale,
The season for working
Is passing away.
Both playing and shirking
Are ended to day,
The Garter Snake creeping
So softly to rest,
The fuzzy Worms sleeping
Within their warm nest,
The Honey Bees crawling
Around the full comb,
The tiny Ants calling
Each one to the home,
We've ended our singing
Our dancing, and play,
And Nature's voice ringing
Now tells us to say
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