The Winter Woodland

Narrator: It was the beginning of March, the dead cold of winter. Each day, a cheerless cloud darkened the sky as the powerful North Wind roared across the woodland like a huge lion with razor-sharp icicle teeth. Ever since the first snowflakes of winter first drifted down in November past, North Wind could not be stopped.

[Students representing snowflakes can begin swirling around and then moving more furiously on stage as the wind whips them around. Also, if you have opted to use paper-plate snowflakes, a few of these may be placed in front of the ground line to simulate snow piling up.]

All winter long, the wind ripped a frozen path through the woods, slamming this way and that, leaving crusty layers of ice and snow in its wake. Trees that once stood tall with branches full of colorful autumn leaves, now hung low with sharp, glassy icicles. [Students playing the wind take away taped-on autumn leaves and replace them with icicles.] Streams and brooks that once bubbled and foamed were frozen into solid ribbons of ice; woodland animals that once scampered in the warm autumn sun, now huddled together in the stone-cold ground to escape the windís force; flowers that once swayed in the autumn air now lay quiet and bent beneath the silent weight of the frosty snow. Even the children, who, in November, had dangled tongues and mittens in the air trying to catch the first snowflakes of winter, now lowered their heads and squinted against the icy gusts that bit into their faces.

By mid-March, North Wind thought it time to swirl about and survey its work. It licked its icy lips and smiled a frosty smile as it glared at the frozen land. North Wind knew it had helped to freeze the woods over, and it felt quite powerful, indeed! All the woodland plants and animals — and even the children who played there — were about ready to give up hope that the spring thaw would ever arrive.

And then, at the end of March, just when the whole world — including all the hope and promise — seemed to be forever frozen still and lifeless, a tiny springtime surprise popped up! The trees stretched over to see it. The frozen waters melted over to nibble at it. The woodland animals scurried over to hear it. The children bent near to smell it. And together everyone was feeling the same sense of wonder for a velvety crocus flower — the very first flower of springtime — had managed to push its fresh, flowery face up through the sparkly snow.

Everyone began shouting hoorah! — that is until the North Wind spotted the tiny bud, drew in its breath, bent down dangerously close to the fledgling flower and tried blowing a blustery wind against the delicate petals. But, much to North Windís surprise, all that came out was a whisper-soft spring breeze, warm and gentle as a baby lambís breath. The breeze touched the bud's petals and then swirled up to nudge away the dark winter clouds that hung above. Suddenly the woods were bathed in sunlight. The new bud turned its petal face toward the light. Meanwhile, more and more flower buds began popping up everywhere! Snow and ice melted into liquid streams and brooks. Animals hopped out of their hiding places to stretch and scamper at last. Icicles on the trees melted, leaving tiny leaf buds on the tree branches. [Students playing the wind can now replace the taped-on icicles with taped-on leaf buds.] Children peeled off their winter mittens, boots, and hats so they could run and play spring games. By the time March turned into April, the whole woodland was dancing around to celebrate the new spring season — especially the lamb-like spring breeze who had once blown fierce as a lion in winter.

The End

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