Image from page 456 of "Stories for the household" (1889)
Title: Stories for the household
Subjects: Fairy tales
Publisher: London : G. Routledge and Sons
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warm mittens, sat in his sledge, and beathis arms across his breast to warm himself, and the whip lay across hisknees. The horses ran till they smoked again. The snow creaked, andthe Sparrows hopped about in the ruts, and shivered, Piep ! when willspring come ? it is very long in coming ! Very long, sounded from the next snow-covered hill, far over the The Story of the Year. 431 field. It might be the echo which was heard; or perhaps the wordswere spoken by yonder wonderful old man, who sat in wind and weatherhigh on the heap of snow. He was quite white, attired like a peasantin a coarse white coat of frieze; he had long white hair, and was quitepale, with big blue eyes. Who is that old man yonder ? asked the Sparrows. I know who he is, quoth an old Raven, who sat on the fence-rail,and was condescending enough to acknowledge that we are all like littlebirds in the sight of Heaven, and therefore was not above speaking tothe Sparrows, and giving them information. I know who the old man
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THE STORKS BEINGING BACK THE SPEING. is. It is Winter, the old man of last year. He is not dead, as thecalendar says, but is guardian to little Prince Spring, who is to come.Yes, Winter bears sway here. Ugh ! the cold makes you shiver, does itnot, you little ones ? Yes. Did I not tell the truth ? said the smallest Sparrow: thecalendar is only an invention of man, and is not arranged according tonature! They ought to leave these things to us, who are born clevererthan they. And one week passed away, and two passed away. The frozen lakelay hard and stiff, looking like a sheet of lead, and damp icy mists laybrooding over the laud; the great black crows flew about in long rows,but silently; and it seemed as if nature slept. Then a sunbeam glidedalong over the lake, and made it shine like burnished tin. The snowycovering on the field and on the hill did not glitter as it had done; but 432 Stories for the Household. the white form, Winter himself, still sat there, his gaze fixed unswerv-ing
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