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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Stories for Younger Children
The Cold Mouse

Chestnut was a little mouse that lived in an old tree. In the springtime, when the flowers bloomed and butterflies fluttered by, Chestnut sat in his hole and watched the pink, blue, and yellow flowers dance in the gentle breezes. In the summer it was a nice place to live. He was warm and had a lot of shade. In the autumn, when the leaves fell to the ground, all he had to do was look outside his old tree and see gold, red, yellow, and orange all around him.  When winter came, it was a different story. Snowflakes fell and piled up on the ground, all the way to his hole. “Brrrrr. I wish I had a hat, and a warm pair of gloves, and a scarf.” Sometimes a cold wind blew into the hole and Chestnut would shiver and shiver.

One day, when it wasn’t snowing, he ran out of his hole to see if he could find an acorn, or some seeds to nibble on. He was very hungry. He heard the noise of a bird chirping. It sounded like it was hurt. Chestnut ran over to find the bird. A sparrow lay on the snow. It hurt its wing and was chirping with pain. “Can I help you, little sparrow?” Chestnut asked.

“Yes, you can go and get a stick and tie it to my wing, to keep it straight. If you do that, then I can fly back to my nest and not be on the ground. I don’t want a cat to eat me, or a fox, or even a bear,” the sparrow said.

Chestnut looked all around and found a small stick. He took it to the sparrow. “Will this do?”

“Yes. Tie it with some string to my wing.”

“Where will I find string?” The mouse looked all around.

“Run up the tree and pull a piece out of my nest,” the sparrow said.

Chestnut ran up the tree. He pulled a piece of string out and ran back down to the sparrow. “I’ve got it.” He tied the twig to her wing.

She stood up and wiggled it around. “Thank you, Chestnut. I’ll fly back to my nest and it will heal in a few days. I think I’ve got enough worms to last me.” Chestnut watched as the bird flew slowly to its nest.

The next day the mouse looked all around and found a worm. He pulled it out of the frozen ground and took it to the bird. “Thank you. That was nice of you to bring me a worm.” Each day he took the sparrow a worm, or some seeds.

A few days later there was a bad storm. The wind blew and the trees shook. Chestnut was nearly frozen. He heard a knock on his tree and looked outside. There was the sparrow. In her beak she had a pair of gloves, a scarf, a hat, and a tie. “These are for you, for helping me. I can fly well now. Thank you.” The sparrow flew away.

Chestnut put the tie around his neck. He slipped on the gloves, the hat and the scarf. “I’ll never be cold again.” And he wasn’t.

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