The Surprise In The Barn

Winter arrived. A white cover of snow shrouded the entire landscape. A fresh blanket of snow appeared on the trees. The temperature dipped below zero on thermometers and frost covered the windows. Winter was exactly how it should be. All the children in the village met on a nearby hill to test out their sleds and bobsleds. Boris was heading that way too.

He was a rambunctious boy, full of energy. He couldn’t wait to pull out his sled and take it for its first ride of the year. Boris ran to the barn behind the house where his sled was stored. He opened the door, burst in there like a flood, quickly grabbed the sled, and headed back outside. When he was almost at the door, he heard strange sounds in the barn. He stopped and listened to figure out where they might be coming from. Now he could also hear rustling and huffing.

The Surprise In The Barn
The Surprise In The Barn

Boris closed the barn door and spoke into the silence: “Is anyone here?” There was no answer. “Hello, is anyone in here?” Boris asked again. He was curious and not at all afraid. After a moment, the hay that was stored in the barn started moving. Boris could see two small black muzzles in it. He knelt down and crouched to see them better. The muzzles started climbing out of the hay and Boris saw two badgers. A surprise in the barn. Image source:

“What are you doing here? Don’t worry, I won’t hurt you,” Boris told the badgers. The badgers slowly approached him. Then one of them spoke: “We’re brothers. During winter, badgers always crawl into their dens and sleep for most of it. But we didn’t make it there on time this year. Winter came too quickly and now our den is covered with snow and we can’t get inside. That’s why we’ve been hiding here in the hay in your barn. We’re tired. We should go to sleep now. Please don’t be angry!”

“I’m not angry at all. I’ll help you,” Boris put his sled aside and got to work. He created two dens in the hay and lined them nicely with various blankets and then dry grass. “You can spend the winter here. You will stay warm. I will keep an eye on you to make sure you’re safe,” Boris told the badgers.

“Thank you, you’ve saved us!” the badgers cried out in excitement and jumped into their dens. They snuggled up in there and fell fast asleep. Boris waited a little longer, until he was sure that they were both asleep, and then headed out to the hill. When he got back from sledding, he quietly put his sled away in the barn and checked on the two sleepers. He was so happy that he was able to help them and that thanks to him, they wouldn’t freeze to death somewhere due to exhaustion.

The entire winter, Boris kept checking on the badgers. Always very quietly, so that he wouldn’t disturb their sleep. Then, once the spring snowmelt started, it was a sign for the badgers that they could go back to the forest. To find their dens, some food, and the other badgers from their family.

That’s why one day Boris only found empty dens in the barn. At first, he was sad that the badgers didn’t come to say goodbye. But some time later, when he was going to the barn for some tools, a small box lay there on the floor. It was nicely wrapped, and a small note was attached to it. Boris picked up the box, unwrapped it, and found beautiful jingle bells inside.

Then he looked at the note, which read: “These are jingle bells for your sled, to make it even better. Thank you so much for saving us. Your badgers.” Boris was beside himself with excitement. He attached the jingle bells to his sled right away and looked forward to the first snow when he could take it out on the hill. His sled was even prettier with the jingle bells! He was so glad to have helped the badgers, and he was determined to do it again, any time.

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