One morning, Briar Rose awoke with a yawn. A bird was singing at her window. She looked at the pretty flowers that had started to grow near the cottage. Somehow, it seemed different outside.
After she had dressed, she went to the kitchen to greet her three aunts – Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather.
“Good morning, dear!” Flora cried.
“It’s the first day of spring!” Fauna exclaimed.
“Oh, I thought it looked awfully pleasant outside,” Briar Rose remarked as she sat down at the table.
Merryweather placed a biscuit with extra honey in front of the young woman. “You slept late again,” she said, frowning. “The day is half over.”
Briar Rose smiled. Her aunt sounded grumpy sometimes, but she knew Merryweather had a heart of gold.
“I suppose we have to do our spring cleaning today,” Merryweather added.
“Yes, dear,” replied Fauna. “That’s what we always do on the first day of spring.”
“I’m afraid we’re going to need a new broom,” Flora said suddenly. “The one we have is quite ragged and dirty from all our winter cleaning.”
“Why don’t I make a new one!” Briar Rose offered. “I’ll go out and find some straw and a nice, straight, thinking stick. You’ll have a new broom in no time!”
“Why, that’s very sweet of you!” Flora cried
“Dress warmly, my dear,” Fauna said. “It’s still cold out, you know.”
“Don’t stay out long,” Merryweather added. “You’ll leave all the work for us!”
Briar Rose tried hard not to giggle. She knew that her aunt Merryweather was not worried about the work. She just wanted to make sure Briar Rose was safe.
Briar Rose wrapped her cloak around her, picked up her basket, and went outside.
In the shed, she gathered straw for the new broom. As she put it into her basket, two little chipmunks appeared and began to chatter.
“Well, come on, then,” she said, inviting them along. The chipmunks jumped into the basket.
Then some cheery bluebirds chirped at her from the rafters. “You can come, too,” Briar Rose offered. They were joined by other birds and animals, and soon everyone was parading happily through the woods. Briar Rose began to hum. She loved to walk with her animal friends.
As they got closer to the pond, Briar Rose noticed a flutter of activity. She started to worry. What could be causing such a commotion?
The bluebirds flew ahead to see what was going on. The chipmunks jumped out of the basket and joined a group of animals that were gathered around the Briar Rose ran as fast as she could. When she caught up, she saw that a deer had fallen through the ice and couldn’t get out!
Briar Rose knew this deer well – it was a doe that was going to give birth very soon. She had to help the poor animal, but she was not quite sure how.
Thinking quickly, Briar Rose hurried over to a fallen tree and broke off a long, ones branch. She stretched it towards the deer.
The deer tried to reach the branch, but she had lost a lot of her strength and seemed panicked. Briar Rose wondered what she could do to help.
Suddenly, she had an idea. She began to sing the softest, most soothing lullaby she could think of the doe started to calm down. Then the tired creature was able to grasp the branch in her mouth. Briar Rose rugged and pulled until the doe climbed up onto the bank of the pond at lust.
Briar Rose sighed with relief. Then she realized how badly the deer was shaking!
“Oh, you poor thing!” She cried. “You’re half – frozen!” She pulled a big handful of straw from her basket and rubbed it briskly over the deer’s body. The doe’s coat slowly began to dry, but she was still shivering.
“Come on, everyone!” Briar Rose announced. She and the other animals led the deer through the woods. When they reached her aunts’ cottage, Briar Rose took the doe directly to the warm fireplace. The deer left a trail of muddy hoofprints all over the floor.
“We’ll have to clean all over again,” said Merryweather.
“Oh, phooey!” Cried Fauna, “Who cares about all that? How can we help Briar Rose!”
“She fell through the” Briar Rose started to say.
“Hmph! I knew something like that would happen.” Merryweather interrupted
“We need to get her warm-” continued Briar Rose.
“And dry, and fed,” Flora interrupted.
Briar Rose and her aunts worked together to make the deer comfortable. By the next morning, the animal felt much better.
Later that spring, the doe gave birth to two beautiful fawns. Flora and Fauna were delighted, although Merryweather still griped about how long it had taken to clean the muddy hoofprints up.
One morning, Briar Rose went to the shed to start her chores and noticed Merryweather giving treats to the deer. She smiled. That was just like her aunt, pretending to be annoyed, but actually acting very thoughtful. Briar Rose went about her chores, delighted that the spring had gotten off to a nice start.