| 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 |
 EVERYTHING in the meadow was dry and dusty. The leaves on
the milkweeds were turning yellow with thirst, the field
blossoms drooped their dainty heads in the sunshine, and the
grass seemed to fairly rattle in the wind, it was so brown
All of the meadow people when they met each other would say,
"Well, this is hot," and the Garter Snake, who had lived
there longer than anyone else,
 declared that it was the
hottest and driest time that he had ever known. "Really," he
said, "it is so hot that I cannot eat, and such a thing
never happened before."
The Grasshoppers and Locusts were very happy, for such
weather was exactly what they liked.
They didn't see how
people could complain of such delightful scorching days. But
that, you know, is always the way, for everybody cannot be
suited at once, and all kinds of weather are needed to make
a good year.
The poor Tree Frog crawled into the coolest place he could
find—hollow trees, shady nooks under the ferns, or even
beneath the corner of a great stone. "Oh," said he, "I wish
I were a Tadpole again, swimming in a shady pool. It is such
a long, hot journey to the marsh that I cannot go. Last
night I dreamed that I was a Tadpole, splashing in the
water, and it was hard to awaken and find myself only an
uncomfortable old Tree Frog."
 Over his head the Katydids were singing, "Lovely weather!
Lovely weather!" and the Tree Frog, who was a good-natured
old fellow after all, winked his eye at them and said: "Sing
away. This won't last always, and then it will be my turn to
Sure enough, the very next day a tiny cloud drifted across
the sky, and the Tree Frog, who always knew when the weather
was about to change, began his rain-song. "Pukr-r-rup!" sang
he, "Pukr-r-rup! It will rain! It will rain! R-r-r-rain!"
The little white cloud grew bigger and blacker, and another
came following after, then another, and another, and
another, until the sky was quite covered with rushing black
clouds. Then came a long, low rumble of thunder, and all the
meadow people hurried to find shelter. The Moths and
Butterflies hung on the undersides of great leaves. The
Grasshoppers and their cousins crawled under burdock and
mullein plants. The Ants scurried around to find their
 own homes. The Bees and Wasps, who had been gathering honey for
their nests, flew swiftly back. Everyone was hurrying to be
ready for the shower, and above all the rustle and stir
could be heard the voice of the old Frog, "Pukr-r-rup!
Pukr-r-rup! It will rain! It will rain! R-r-r-rain!"
The wind blew harder and harder, the branches swayed and
tossed, the leaves danced, and some even blew off of their
mother trees; the hundreds of little clinging creatures
clung more and more tightly to the leaves that sheltered
them, and then the rain came, and such a rain! Great drops
hurrying down from the sky, crowding each other, beating
down the grass, flooding the homes of the Ants and Digger
Wasps until they were half choked with water, knocking over
the Grasshoppers and tumbling them about like leaves. The
lightning flashed, and the thunder pealed, and often a tree
would crash down in the forest near by when the wind blew a
 When everybody was wet, and little rivulets of water were
trickling through the grass and running into great puddles
in the hollows, the rain stopped, stopped suddenly. One by
one the meadow people crawled or swam into sight.
The Digger Wasp was floating on a leaf in a big puddle. He
was too tired and wet to fly, and the whirling of the leaf
made him feel sick and dizzy, but he stood firmly on his
tiny boat and tried to look as though he enjoyed it.
The Ants were rushing around to put their homes in shape,
the Spiders were busily eating their old webs, which had
been broken and torn in the storm, and some were already
beginning new ones. A large family of Bees, whose tree-home
had been blown down, passed over the meadow in search for a
new dwelling, and everybody seemed busy and happy in the
cool air that followed the storm.
The Snake went gliding through the
 wet grass, as hungry as
ever, the Tree Frog was as happy as when he was a Tadpole,
and only the Grasshoppers and their cousins, the Locusts and
Katydids, were cross. "Such a horrid rain!" they grumbled,
"it spoiled all our fun. And after such lovely hot weather
"Now don't be silly," said the Tree Frog, who could be
really severe when he thought best, "the Bees and the Ants
are not complaining, and they had a good deal harder time
than you. Can't you make the best of anything? A nice,
hungry, cross lot you would be if it didn't rain, because
then you would have no good,
juicy food. It's better for you
in the end as it is, but even if it were not, you might make
the best of it as I did of the hot weather. When you have
lived as long as I have, you will know that neither
Grasshoppers nor Tree Frogs can have their way all the time,
but that it always comes out all right in the end without
their fretting about it."
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