What do you do in winter?
Every year in autumn, the animals in nature prepare for winter. This year, it is no different.
A squirrel was in the process of searching for nuts to add to his winter supply when he realised he was being watched. It was a hedgehog, sitting on the ground between the colourful autumn foliage.
„What are you doing?“ the Hedgehog asked inquisitively.
„I’m burying food“, explained the Squirrel. „So that I have something to eat in winter.“
„You should also slowly start stashing food,“ he continued. „Soon the first snow will be here. Then you won’t find anything anymore.“
„Oh, I don’t need to reserve food,“ reckoned the Hedgehog.
The Squirrel was amazed. „But what do you do in winter?“ he asked. „Won’t you be very hungry?“
„Don’t worry,“ the Hedgehog replied. „Right now, I’m eating more and gaining winter fat. Once it gets cold, I’ll find a nice, big pile of leaves. There I’ll hole up and hibernate.“
„What? You’re going to sleep the whole winter?“ the Squirrel asked. „But then you’ll miss the snow.“
The Squirrel blabbered on: „I also sleep a lot, but I always get up in between naps when I’m hungry. Then I feast on the nuts and acorns that I just buried.“
While they were both talking, a frog came hopping by.
„And you, frog?“ the Squirrel inquired eagerly. „What do you do in winter?“
The Frog came closer before answering: „Do you see that pond over there? I’m going to bury myself in the mud there and when it gets really cold then I’ll become dormant.“
The Squirrel still did not understand. „But at the bottom of the pond you won’t get any fresh air. And what will you eat?“ The Squirrel was a little worried that the Frog wouldn’t survive the winter.
„Don’t worry!“ the Frog answered. „While in this state, I don’t move anymore and my whole body gets colder than normal. I won’t need as much air or any food. Actually, I can breathe through my skin a little. If I don’t move or exert myself, it is enough.“
Now the Squirrel understood.
They also saw a rabbit on the meadow.
„Come here Rabbit!“ called the Squirrel. „We want to ask you something.“
The rabbit hopped over.
„What do you do in winter?“ the animals wanted to know. „Do you hibernate like Hedgehog? Or only partly hibernate like Squirrel? Or go into a freeze like Frog?“
„None of those,“ answers the rabbit. „I stay awake. Of course, I have my thick winter fur. It helps against the cold. Feel how warm and soft my fur is! I also dug my rabbit burrow underground, where I can withstand the cold. My family and I will snuggle together and keep each other warm.“
„How do you find something to eat in winter then?“ the Squirrel curiously asked. „Do you also store food like me?“
„No, I don’t hide any food,“ laughed the rabbit. „But, of course I can’t be a picky eater in winter. When I can’t find any more grass to eat, then I gnaw on some tree bark.“
A wild goose came flying by and landed directly next to them.
The goose had barely landed before the nosy Squirrel asked him the same question: „Hey Goose, what do you do when winter comes?“
„I am a migrating bird,“ the goose answered. „I’ll fly South. To Africa. There it is already warm and food is plentiful.“
„Isn’t it a very long and dangerous journey?“ the small Squirrel wanted to know.
„Yes, it is,“ says the goose. „Africa is very far away and it is very difficult to get there. But I’m flying with my friends a big group. We also make a few stops on our way there.“
„I actually have to go,“ said the goose. „I can’t let the others leave without me.“
Then the goose did a run-up and lifted off into the sky.
After that, the other animals all bid each other farewell.
„We’ll see each other in spring,“ said the Hedgehog and left to find a good place to hibernate.
The Frog hopped to the pond, where he also looked for the perfect place for the winter.
The Squirrel diligently continued gathering nuts.
And the rabbit went to eat some delicious grass while the meadow was still green.
➔ Did you enjoy the animal story? Here you will find more of our short stories for kids in English language.