In mid-afternoon, Spring came—not the spring of the year, but Spring himself, the person the season is named for. He was a tall young man, with a radiant face, and fair curls lifting in a cloud from his head. Where he walked the earth sprang up in green grass after his bare feet, and flowers followed him like a procession. Helma ran to him, swifter than the children, and he kissed her lips. He lifted Ivra nigh on his shoulder for one minute where she thought she looked away over the treetops hundreds of miles to the blue ocean. But it may have been only his eyes, which were very blue, that shee was looking into.
With him came two Earth Giants. They were huge brown fellows with rolling muscles and kind, sleepy eyes. They crouched down at the opening in the hedge and waited for Spring to go on with them.
“Shall we plant the garden, Helma?” asked Spring.
“Yes, yes,” cried the children, and Helma said, “Yes, yes,” as eagerly as they.
So the Earth Giants came in and plowed it all up with their hands,—hands twenty times as large as an Earth Man’s! When they were done, the garden was a rich golden color, and right for planting. Then Helma pointed out to Spring where she wanted the seeds to be, violets here, roses there, lilies there, pansies there and daisies there. Spring gave some seeds to the children and sowed some himself. Helma sat on the door stone and joyously directed the work.
By twilight the garden was done, and Spring went away with his Earth Giants.
As he went out through the forest, flowers and green grass followed him—and the next morning even the dullest Earth Person would know that Spring had come.
As for Helma and Ivra and Eric, the house would not hold their joy, and so they dragged out their beds and slept that night in the new-plowed, sweet-smelling garden.
“There goes another,” said Helma as she stood in the door the very next morning after her return. “The littlest Forest Child that was, and all by himself. He seems rather small to go spring-wandering alone.”
“He likes to go alone,” Ivra answered. She was setting the table for breakfast, and Eric was helping her. “’Most always he’s playing or wandering off by himself somewhere.”
Helma stood watching the little fellow until he had vanished amid the delicate green of the forest morning. Then she tossed back her hair with a shake of her head and cried gayly, “Let’s go wandering ourselves, pets. It’s good to be home, but we have all our lives for that now. Let’s adventure!”
The children were overjoyed. They did not want to wait for breakfast. But Helma thought they had better, for no one knew where, when or how their next meal would be. Of course, though, it was hard to eat. You know yourself how you feel about food when you are going on an adventure. However the bowls of cereal were swallowed somehow. Then the stoutest sandals were strapped on, and the three were ready to set out.