Spring of Thankfulness

by Allen, 12, from Kansas

Bright morning sunlight lanced gracefully into the forest. In his hole halfway up a great hemlock, Amison awakened. Hopping out, he blinked in the early sunlight. The downy woodpecker smiled. After a long, cold winter, spring had finally arrived. He fluffed his black-and-white plumage. The red spot on the back of his head glistened brightly. His wings began flapping, and he took off.

Weaving around ash and pine, oak and elm, Amison enjoyed the warm weather. Large snowdrifts that had dominated the earth were now small patches of white, which would soon disappear. Winter had been a dull, sad, miserable time. Spring, however, was a time of happiness and color. Soon, the bright flowers would blossom into beautiful decorations for meadows, fields and forest floors.

Quickly darting around a bush, Amison was hit by an idea. He changed his course. He headed for his friend Fletcher’s home in the great pines. He was halfway there when he was hailed by a familiar voice.

“Good morning Amison!”

Amison landed on the branch of an oak. “Hello, Fletcher! I was on my way to see you.”

Fletcher smiled. “Huh, I was on my way to see you.”

Amison beamed. “Great minds think alike.”

The tufted titmouse fluffed his feathers proudly. “I guess so,” he said. “Hey, did you know that we’re having the spring banquet this afternoon?”

“Really? I didn’t anticipate it would be organized so quickly,” Amison said.

Fletcher shrugged. “I don’t like to wait a week.”

“The ones preparing it are hard-pressed, though,” Amison replied.

“True,” Fletcher agreed, “however, it’s well worth it!”

“Indeed it is,” Amison said. “What do you think the forest elders will title this season?”

“Maybe the Spring of the Hungry Titmouse,” Fletcher replied, trying to keep a straight face.

Not impressed, Amison raised an eyebrow. “I’d name it the Spring of the Pesky Titmouse.”

“Hrumph,” Fletcher snorted. “I liked my name better!”

Suddenly, Mr. Redcrest the cardinal shot forth from the trees. “Come on boys,” he cried excitedly. “The spring banquet is about to begin at the tree of meetings!”

The tree of meetings was an enormous oak. Built on three gargantuan limbs, a large platform dominated the skyline. The platform was the meeting place for the forest elders, who conducted the matters of the forest. At the moment, however, several tables stood on the flat, wooden surface. Turnovers, flans, cakes, cobblers, salads, soups, loaves and drinks were piled high.

“It’s a sight to see,” Fletcher commented.

“It sure is,” Amison agreed.

As they landed, a bustling sparrow shepherded them to their seats. “Sit down, you rascals,” she said. “We’re just about ready.”

After the harsh winter, talking and laughter filled the air. An old robin rose shakily to his feet. The assembly quieted as he began.

“Dear Maker, thank you for this new season. Thank you that winter is over. Please guide us in the Spring of Thankfulness.”

A loud “amen” came from all. Then the feasting began!

“Pass the cobbler, will you?”

“This turnover is magnificent! Who made it?”

Amison grinned. The storm had passed. The relief had come. The Spring of Thankfulness had come to a roaring start!

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