Buttercup Gold and Other Stories

by Ellen Robena Field

“Rock-A-By Baby”

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: 9.5
  • Word Count: 304
  • Genre: Fairy Tale/Folk Tale
  • Keywords: 19th century literature, children's literature, short stories
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”Rock-a-by baby in the treetop,
    When the wind blows the cradle will rock.”

FoliageHelena was playing with her dolls under the Maple tree in the garden. It was the first warm day of spring, and the little girl was glad to be out of doors again, and to rock her babies to sleep on one of the low branches.

But she was not the only one singing a lullaby that bright sunny morning, for Mother Nature was singing one, too, and a soft breeze was gently tucking some little brown cradles to and fro in the tree tops. Some were very, very small, and others were larger, but each held a wee leaf baby, fast asleep. The next time Helena came out to play, the babies in the treetop were waking up, and she could see them in their dainty green nightdresses, peeping out at the world. During the next week they grew a great deal, and one of them crept out of their cradles which fell down to the ground, leaving the babies still up in the treetop.

By the time Spring went away, the babies had grown large and strong, and spread beautiful green parasols to give shade to their friends through the hot, dusty days of summer. When Autumn came, Mother Nature gave them a holiday, and how pretty they looked in their gay gowns as they frolicked with the wind!

Then they said goodbye to the Maple tree, and went dancing and whirling over the fields to meet King Winter. When Helena looked into their old homes on the tree, she found some more tiny brown cradles, and knew that in them were new leaf babies that sleep safely til Spring comes again to visit Earthdom, and wakes each “baby in the treetop.”