Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"I Gather Colors, For Winter is Gray ..."

There is a story, lil' dude, I love reading to you called Frederick.

It's a children's book written by Leo Lionni and it was first published in 1967. You know how fond I am of old stories, particularly stories I remember being read to me or reading myself as a little. This is a great story.

You and I were out and about sometime last month. It was too cold to do anything except stroll the mall. Our mall has this little tiny treasure called Books Revisited. It's a second hand book store and it's right across from the Gap. Not where you'd expect to find a used book store. And granted, it's a store mostly full of garage sale castoffs and newer books people already had a copy of. The kids' section is vast- torn up Golden Books, Barney activity books, Dora, and Disney bedtime stories. These books are on the display that welcomes you to this kids' section. I always skip it ...

Because right behind the Doras and Barneys are the stories like Frederick. The old, obscure stories I believe the vast majority don't care about. Or know about, maybe. It's where I found you a perfect condition copy of the book for less than $3. It made my day, and I couldn't wait until bedtime to read you the story.

I won't ruin the plot for our readers, but it's such a small story that packs a huge punch ... here is my favorite part:

Who scatters the snowflakes? Who melts the ice?
Who spoils the weather? Who makes it nice?
Who grows the four-leaf clovers in June?
Who dims the daylight? Who lights the moon?

Four little field mice who live in the sky.
Four little field mice ... like you and I.

One is the Springmouse who turns on the showers.
Then comes the Summer who paints the flowers.
The Fallmouse is next with walnuts and wheat.
And Winter is last ... with cold little feet.

Aren't we lucky the seasons are four?
Think of a year with one less ... or one more!

It's true, lil' dude. We should always be grateful for what we have even if what we have is dark and gray and no fun. Because it all fits together; the gray will soon give way to the warm sun. It always does.

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