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Farmer Brown has a big treat for his farm animals

 It had been a hard winter. In fact, all the animals had stayed in the barn as the wind howled and snow swirled around in the yard. At times you couldn't see out the window as Jack Frost had covered it in a lace pattern. All the animals wished for spring when they could run in the pasture again.

 When the animals awoke that morning, the usual chill to the air was gone. The cows munched their hay and waited to be milked. The hens clucked as their eggs were collected and the sheep bahhed. Spring was coming. They could feel it in their bones and smell it in their nostrils.

 Farmer Brown was extra generous that morning as he fed his animals. "I have a treat for all of you today," he announced as he whistled a happy tune.

 "Is Farmer Brown going to leave the radio on all day?" asked the lambs, because Farmer Brown sometimes left the radio on all day and the animals loved that. They didn't have any particular favourite type of music, but everyone knew that Grandmother Sheep loved classical the best. Benjamin Horse loved rock 'n roll and moved back and forth in his stall. The radio helped pass the long hours when snow piled high against the door.

 "I don't know, " said Mrs. Sheep to the question about the radio. "Maybe he is giving us a treat with our meal. I would love a handful of oats." Was it possible that spring had arrived, she hoped?

 The cows couldn't wait for all the chores to be finished as they listened to Farmer Brown's every move. What was the treat they would be getting, they wondered? They knew he was with the lambs now, as they could hear him talking about how cute they were with their fuzzy coats. Then, he was with the hens as they heard him ask, "And how many eggs did you lay today, girls?"

 The little ones kept nudging theirmothers hoping that with all the shuffling, the farmer would see all the commotion. Maybe that would get their treat to them sooner.

 "Well, I think I have made you wait long enough," said Farmer Brown putting down his pitchfork. "I can see how anxious you are to find out the treat."

 The hens stopped clucking and the cows perked up their ears. "Today, you can go out in the barnyard. Spring is here and the snow is gone," said Farmer Brown in a big voice.

 That was the best news in the world to the animals that had been penned up through the cold winter. Mother Sheep told her young to stay in line when they followed her. Mother Cow said that she didn't want the young ones kicking up mud and getting each other dirty. The hens warned their young about tummy aches if they ate too much corn.

 Then Farmer Brown opened the big barn doors. The animals sniffed the fresh air and waited for their stalls to be opened. The hens ran for the yard and started pecking at the corn that was spread there. The birds on the barn roof sang welcome to the animals.

 Spring was surrounding the farm with her gentle hand and the animals surged forward to enjoy her delights.

 Question about the story: What did the lambs think the treat would be from Farmer Brown?

 Winners: Jenna and Logan of New Germany Elementary received their prizes through their school.

 Send answers to: Storytime, c/o Verna Dunlop, RR#1 Moser River, NS BOJ 2KO or e-mail the answer to Prizes will be sent to those sending in answers. State age.

  May 18, 2005  
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