By: Leo Lionni
Picture and Page
Designed By: Kathy Backes
upon a time, there lived a family of five field mice in a meadow.
The field mice knew that winter would be on its way, so they began to
gather corn, nuts, wheat, and straw. All- except Fredrick.
mice asked him why he did not work. " I do work," Fredrick replied. "I
gather sunrays for the cold dark winter days." A little later,
they saw Fredrick still sitting there and asked him what he was doing
now. "I gather colors," Fredrick answered simply. "For winter is
gray." Then they saw Fredrick with his eyes closed and asked if
he was dreaming. "Oh no, I am gathering words. For the winter days are
long and many, and we'll run out of things to say."
When winter came, the five field mice took to their warm home in
the stones. They ate their food, laughed, and told stories for many
weeks. But little by little, the food began to grow less and less. The
family was getting cold and did not want to chat.
Then they remembered
Fredrick and the things he stored. He told them to close their eyes and
shared with them the rays of the golden sun, the colors of the
periwinkles, poppies, and wheat, and best of all, the beautiful words
of a poem. The mice applauded at Fredrick's finish. "But Fredrick,"
they said. "You are a poet!" Fredrick blushed and said shyly,"I know
How would you have felt if you
were in Fredrick's family, and he
was not gathering food? What might you say to him?
How did you feel about Fredrick at the end of the story? Did your