On Winter's Eve
A WONDERFUL READ ALOUD ABOUT WINTER AND THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE. Winters in Bern are long and cold and deep. On winter nights, when the snow is falling, Pippa goes to sleep knowing she’ll wake up to tracks in front of her farmhouse. The tracks are small, and they come from the woods—those same woods that her mother says are full of witches and elves and trolls, and her father says are full of wolves and bears and demons. But these tracks are the Tompte’s, and he is a friendly creature. Or at least that’s what Pippa hopes. . . The Tompte borrows and mends things, he takes and he sometimes leaves things, and such is life on a farm at the edge of the realm. Her mother calls it tradition. Her father calls it a curse. And when things start going missing and trouble comes their way, Pippa’s not sure what to believe. Soon enough, she'll have no choice but to go into the woods to find out. . . Winter comes and north wind blows,And with it comes the winter snow. Through the pines, he leaves his track,Over hill and here and back.The Tompte he looks after land,With quiet feet and silent hand. He comes from woods, alone and weary,On winter nights, dark and dreary.Through the farm, he peeks about,Checking in, and on and out.Taking gifts and leaving tokens,Mending bits that have been broken. His beard is long, his feet are small,He’s like a child, about as tall,But Tompte is old and wise as well,And deep in forest is his dell.So, on winter nights when you’re asleep,Along comes Tompte in silence deep, On quiet feet, with food to shareWith quiet hands, and traded fare. Winters come and Autumns go,And with it comes the Tompte through snow.Always watching, never seenLeaving tracks of where he’s been.