hristmas TaleMr. Orwell’sChristmas Tale Finn was a fluffy gray squirrel who lived with his family in a cozy hole in the center of a sturdy oak trunk. It was winter, and frost clung to the bare tree branches. As the sun peeped over the horizon, Finn quickly jumped out of bed. He ran to his mom, gave her a cuddly squirrel hug (which meant he not only hugged her with his little arms, but also with his soft tail), and then sat down to a delicious breakfast. This was a very special day for Finn—it was the first day of his Christmas holidays.
hristmas Tale When Finn had finished hisbreakfast, he was just about tospeed through the tree brancheswhen he heard his mother call tohim. “Not so fast, Finn,” his mothersaid. “Haven’t you forgotten a fewthings?” “Aw, but Mom, it’s Christmasholidays.” “That doesn’t matter,” hismother explained. “Your teethstill need to be brushed, yourbed made, and your chorescompleted.” “Yes, Mom,” said Finn. Heknew he should obey his mother,but inside he was unhappy abouthaving to do these things whenthere were Christmas fun andgames to be enjoyed. Finn did his tasks as fast as hecould. Then he scurried off to thenearby tree, sprinting and jumpingfrom branch to branch. Finn wason his way to see his good friendDilly. Dilly was a white bunny wholived in a burrow with her family.
hristmas Tale “Dilly,” called Finn. “Comeout and play with me!” Out popped a grumpyDilly. “You’ll have to wait a fewminutes. I still have some choresto do … during the holidays.” Finn waited outside Dilly’sfamily burrow. When Dilly wasfinished, the two hurried off toplay. Finn could climb and jumpthrough the branches of thetrees, but Dilly could hop sofast that Finn had a hard timekeeping up with her. As the day wore on and themorning turned to afternoon,the two friends foundthemselves by Mr. Orwell’stree. Mr. Orwell was a wise oldowl. He had been around for along time and always had aninteresting story to tell. Mr.Orwell loved the little animals,and was pleased to see Finn andDilly.
hristmas Tale “What are you two up to thesedays?” Mr. Orwell asked. “It’s the winter holidays, andwe are having so much fun!”exclaimed Dilly. “Except that our mothers stillmake us do our chores,” addedFinn. “Ah, Christmas holidays!That does sound wonderful. Iremember when I was young I hadtrouble doing my chores duringholidays, too. But one winter, mybrother and I learned the hardway about why it was importantto do the things our mother askedus to do. Would you like to hearthe story?” “Oh yes!” chorused Finn andDilly. They loved Mr. Orwell’sstories. The old owl flew down andperched himself on a nearby rock.Finn and Dilly sat on the ground,eager to hear Mr. Orwell’s tale.
hristmas Tale “When I was a wee owlet,”began Mr. Orwell, “my motherneeded to make a trip that wouldkeep her away for a few days. “My brother Edgar and Iwere old enough to take careof ourselves. Our mother leftinstructions of things we neededto do each day while she wasaway. She told us to make surewe slept during the day, as weneeded our strength to hunt atnight. She told us to make sure tokeep the nest clean.” “Really? You had to do that,even though it was winterholidays?” asked Dilly. “Yes, it’s what our motherasked us to do. But as soon as shewas gone, Edgar and I had otherplans. “‘Mother’s gone,’ Edgar said.‘Let’s do whatever we want untilMother returns.’
hristmas Tale “‘We can play all day!’ Iexclaimed. ‘We don’t really needto take naps and do our chores.’ “It sounded like a fun plan. Sowe started the day off by playinghide-and-seek through the trees.We played all day long and had agreat time. But by the time nightset in we were both very hungry,and we went to find food like ourmother had taught us. However,we were both so tired fromplaying that we weren’t quickenough to catch anything. “We finally went back to ournest to sleep, but it was such abig mess that we couldn’t sleep.It was terribly uncomfortable! Wetossed and turned all night long,and when morning came, we werevery tired. We were also hungry,but since we couldn’t hunt duringthe day, we had to wait till it wasnight.
hristmas Tale “We still didn’t clean our nest,but instead went straight out toplay. Again we played all day long.That night we were again tootired to hunt, and so we tried tosleep. “After tossing and turning,and with our stomachs growling,Edgar and I finally realized thatif we had obeyed our mother,we wouldn’t have been so tiredand hungry. Had we done asour mother had asked, ournest would’ve been tidy andcomfortable to sleep in. “‘I think we need to clean ournest,’ Edgar suggested. ‘I can’tsleep. There are all these thingspoking into me.’ “‘I agree,’ I said. ‘We should’vetaken our naps as well, so thatwe wouldn’t be so tired when wetried to hunt.’
hristmas Tale “Edgar and I spent some timecleaning the nest, and then fellinto a blissful sleep. It felt nice tosleep in a tidy nest. Throughoutthe day we made sure to rest sothat when night came around weweren’t too tired to hunt. Laterthat evening we found somethinggood to eat. “When Mother returned wetold her what had happened,and she was happy that we hadlearned our lesson. We told herthat in the future we would try ourbest to obey what she asks us todo. “You see, we learned thatwhile having fun and playingis a good thing, there is also agood reason to clean and do ourchores. We learned to appreciateour mother and all that she hadtaught us. From then on we didour best to be cheerful wheneverit came time to do our chores andhelp around the nest.”