“Well, perhaps dogs and cats do know when it is Spring. The birds do, I’m sure, for then they come up from the South, where they have spent the Winter, and begin to build their nests. So you think it is warm to-day because it is Spring; do you, Hal?”
“Yes, Mother,” he replied. “It’s time Winter was gone, anyhow. And the trees know it is going to be Summer soon, for they are swelling out their buds.”
“And after a while there’ll be flowers,” added Mab. “Didn’t we have fun, Hal, when Daddy took us hunting flowers?”
“Yes, and when he took us to the woods, and to see the different kinds of birds,” added the little boy. “We had lots of fun then.”
“I wish we could have some of that kind of fun now,” went on Mab. “When’s Daddy coming home, Mother?”
“Oh, not for quite a while. He has to work and earn money you know. He has to earn more than ever, now that everything costs so much on account of the war. Daddies don’t have a very easy time these days.”
“Do Mothers?” asked Mab, thinking of how she played mother to her dolls. Maybe, she thought, she could make up a new game, pretending how hard it was for dolls’ mothers these days.
“Well, mothers have to do many things they did not have to do when things to eat and wear did not cost so much,” spoke Mother Blake. “We have to make one loaf of bread go almost as far as two loaves used to go, and as for clothes—well, I am mending some of yours, Hal, that, last year, I thought were hardly useful any more. But we must save all we can. So that’s why Daddy has to work harder and longer, and why he can’t come home Saturday afternoons as early as he used to.”
It was a Saturday afternoon when Hal and Mab found so much fault about not having any fun. Almost any other day they would have been in school, and have been busy over their lessons. But just now they wanted to play and they were not having a very jolly time, for they could not think of anything to do. Or, at least, they thought they could not.
“What makes it Spring?” asked Hal, after a bit, as he watched his mother putting a patch on his little trousers. Hal remembered how he tore a hole in them one day sliding down a cellar door.
“Tell us what makes Spring, Mother,” went on Mab. “That will be as much fun as playing, I guess.”
“The sun makes the Spring,” said Mrs. Blake “Spring is one of the four seasons. I wonder if you can tell me the others?”
“Which one starts?” asked Hal.
“Spring, of course,” exclaimed Mab. “You have to start with something growing, and things grow in the Spring.”
“That is right,” said Mrs. Blake. “Spring is the beginning of life in the world, when the flowers and birds begin to grow; the flowers from little buds and the birds from little eggs. What comes next?”
“Summer!” cried Hal. “Then’s when we can have fun. The ground is dry, so we can play marbles and fly kites. And we can go in swimming and have a long vacation. Summer’s the jolly time!”