Buttercup Gold and Other Stories

by Ellen Robena Field

“The Babies’ Blankets”

Additional Information
  • Year Published: 1894
  • Language: English
  • Country of Origin: United States of America
  • Source: Field, E.R. (1894) Buttercup Gold and Other Stories Bangor: C. H. Glass
  • Readability:
    • Flesch–Kincaid Level: 4.2
  • Word Count: 581
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, children's literature, short stories
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“Such a cold day,” sighed Mother Nature, “and no blankets to keep my babies warm! Little Jack Frost came over the hill last night, and what mischief the boy is planning to do now, it is hard to tell. He is such a happy little fellow, but is always up to some prank. If Father Winter does not send me some blankets soon, I fear Jack will pinch my babies’ toes, and pull their ears, and make them shiver till they am ready to freeze. I have put them to bed and told them to keep quiet, and perhaps Jack will not see them.”

“Ha! ha! ha!” laughed a tinkling voice right at the dear old lady’s elbow. “Some of your children did not mind you. Early this morning I found one of them whispering to a sunbeam, and under the hedge found a tiny blue aster. I shook her till she was so cold she was glad to go back to bed again. Ha! ha! ha!” and Jack gave Mother Nature such a hug that she shivered, and murmured: “Poor babies! I must write a letter to Father Winter.”

This is what the letter said:

    Earthdom, November 1, 1893.

    Dear Father Winter:—Have you any warm blankets for my babies? The season is coming when they should take a long, long nap, and Jack is up to his tricks again. Please send me some blankets soon.

    From your old friend,

    Mother Nature.

This letter she directed to

    King Winter,
    The Polar Regions,

Then she called her messenger, Autumn Wind, and sent him northward with her message. King Winter was seated on his throne at the back of the North Wind, planning his coming work in Earthdom, when Autumn Wind arrived with the letter.

“Deary me! deary me!” said the king, “has Jack Frost gone to bother Mother Nature? I meant he should wait for me this year. But something must be done. Ho! Snowflake, come here, and bring your sisters and brothers with you.”

In a few moments a troop of dainty beings clothed in white came dancing along. “What do you wish, Father Winter?” they asked.

“Mother Nature has need of you, my helpers,” replied the king. “You must stop the next passing cloud, and go down to Earthdom, and cover up the babies. Jack is there, and they are freezing.”

Just then a golden-edged cloud floated by, and the snowflakes huddled together on it and were soon traveling earthward. The sun was setting as they passed the western gate of the city, and the cloud was tinged with red and gold. By and by it began to grow dark, and the little cloud grew larger and larger, and before long the night came. In the morning the little children of Earthdom were surprised to see a white covering over the land.

“See the snow, the beautiful snow” they cried; and the sleds were brought out, and such a merry time as they had playing in the white drifts! But I wonder if any of them knew what the snow really came for, and how glad dear Mother Nature was because her babies were sleeping safe and warm under the downy snowflake blankets.