Brrr! In this new story in Ladybug Magazine (Thanks for the FB shout-out, Cricket Media!), Holly Hedgehog’s alarm clock wakes her from a deep sleep.
Holly burrows out of the loamy leaves, excited for Spring, but as she scrambles up to the wide open world, she becomes suspicious. Something is wrong! Grandma Hedgehog has warned her that there’s a season of the year “when the world turns cold and ugly and the air is sharp as fox teeth.”
“There was no green grass. Instead, the garden was covered in a soft white blanket. there were no flowers and no butterflies. Instead, delicate, lacy things drifted quietly through the air. . .This wasn’t the Nasty Part of the year, was it?”
Of course, there’s a tradition of stories that depicts hibernating animals hauling themselves out of their warm beds too early. My favorite is Arnold Lobel’s charming story, when Frog pulls off the pages of the calendar to trick Toad into believing it’s spring. I love their wild sled ride down the hill, when the crow calls to Toad, “But Toad, you are alone on the sled!”
Luckily, Milton Mouse knows that winter does not have to be a nasty time–he shows Holly the mystery of the frozen pond as well as the delight of perfectly formed snowflakes.
Donald Wu’s illustrations really capture this hedgehog’s winter fun perfectly. I adore the picture of Holly slipping at the top of a hill, right before she turns into a huge snowball!
We in the Pacific Northwest rarely look into the sky and see snow, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the rain. Just this morning, I hauled myself out of my warm, cozy bed and pulled on my boots to take the dog for a sloppy, wet walk. Getting outdoors and enjoying every season is the key to a happy existence!