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The Child's Book of the Seasons by Arthur Ransome

Produced by Heather Strickland & Marc D'Hooghe at http://www.freeliterature.org

THE CHILD'S BOOK OF THE SEASONS

BY

ARTHUR RANSOME

Author of "The Stone Lady."

NATURE BOOKS FOR CHILDREN.

With Illustrations by Frances Craine

LONDON

ANTHONY TREHERNE & COMPANY, LTD.

II, YORK BUILDINGS, ADELPHI, W.C.

1906

FOR ROBERT AND PHYLLIS.

CONTENTS.

I. Spring II. Summer III. Autumn IV. Winter

I

SPRING

Spring always seems to begin on the morning that the Imp, in a bright pink nightgown, comes rushing into my room without knocking, and throws himself on my bed, with a sprig of almond blossom in his hand. You see, the almond blossom grows just outside the Imp's window, and the Imp watches it very carefully. We are none of us allowed to see it until it is ready, and then, as soon as there is a sprig really out, he picks it and flies all round the house showing it to everybody. For the Imp loves the Spring, and we all know that those beautiful pink blossoms mean that Spring is very near.

"Spring!" shouts the Imp, waving his almond blossoms, and we begin to keep a little note-book, and write down in it after the almond blossom day all the other days of the really important things, the day when we first see the brimstone butterfly, big and pale and golden yellow, flitting along the hedgerow near the ground, and the day of picking the first primrose and the finding of the first bird's nest.

And then walks begin to be real fun. No dull jig-jog, jig-jog, just so many miles before going home to lunch, when all the time you would much rather have stayed at home altogether. The Imp and the Elf love Spring walks, and are always running ahead trying to see things. There are such a lot of things to see, and every one of them means that Summer is a little nearer. And that is a jolly piece of news, is it not?

The Imp and the Elf have a nurse to take them for walks, and a very nice old nurse she is, with lots of fairy tales. But somehow she is not much interested in flowers, or birds, or mice, or even in the Spring, so that very soon after the day of the apple blossom those two children start coming to my door soon after breakfast. They knock both at once very quietly. I pretend not to hear. They knock again, and still I do not answer. Then they thunder on the door. Do you know how to thunder on a door? You do it by doubling up your fist and hitting hard with the podgy part that comes at the end where your thumb is not. You can make a tremendous noise that way, And then suddenly I jump up and roar out, "Who's there?" as if I were a terrible giant. And the Imp and the Elf come tumbling in, and stand in front of me, and bow and say, "Oh, Mr. Ogre, we hope you are not very really truly busy, because we want you to come for a walk."


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