How Autumn Came to Be

I wrote this little story for the Halloween Event we are having here in Hawley on the 29th to tell little children. I based it on the Cherokee- Southeast tale “Why Some Trees are Always Green.” I liked that idea of it but wanted to make it more applicable to autumn and make it my own. I have to share it with the committee tomorrow so it may change and I want to make sure young children understand most of the words.

When the earth was first made the trees were green always and the animals stayed awake for however long they wanted. But Sun needed to work extra hard to make enough food for all the trees and animals so one day he went to Wind and asked Wind for help. He asked him to find a way to keep the trees and animals from taking up so much of his energy.

Wind thought he could blow many of the animals off the land so he blew mighty gusts across part of the earth. Wind blew so hard that he was able to knock off most of the leaves of the trees but a few held onto their little leaves tight. These trees knew if they could resist wind’s power they would be able to use sun’s energy throughout the year. But many trees were afraid of wind and let their leaves drop right away while others were not strong enough to hold onto their leaves so Wind easily flung them away.

When Wind stopped blowing he noticed pine, spruce, and fir had kept their slender needle-like leaves. He was too tired to try to knock them off as he had those of such trees like maple and birch so he went to sun and explained what had happened. Sun decided the trees could keep their little leaves all year because it wouldn’t be too much of a burden for him to keep them alive.

When he asked about the animals, Wind said many had fled underground or clung with their claws to the ground or trees. He had blown many birds and insects toward the south far away including goose and monarch butterfly. But once Wind had stopped blowing, the animals that didn’t get blown away came out again and found plentiful amounts of seeds and nuts on the ground.

Many of these animals gorged themselves, some from greed like the foxes, hare, and deer, and others who realized the food might not come back right away like bear, skunk, and frog. Sun saw the difference and granted those who had foresight a peaceful sleep until the trees grew back their leaves and those who ate from greed would have to scavenge throughout the leaf-less months.

A few had hid their finds but although they had the foresight to do so, Sun and Wind realized that if the animals ate every seed and nut they found then the forest would not renew itself. So they made the squirrel forgetful and his forgotten storage would turn into new trees.

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