Growing Season

Written by Sariann Uhlenkamp


This is a story about a Mother raccoon that teachers her three babies how to grow crops in order to survive the winter, by giving each child an important task they must complete in order for their crops to grow and have enough food for winter.

Keywords: planting, harvest, exhausted, Gifts from Earth, seasons

Out in the wilderness, Mother raccoon looked at her three newborn babies.  She was so excited to be able to teach them all the things she learned as a child.  Planting and growing food so they can survive the Winter. The next few weeks would be hard and filled with lots of work. Mother gathered many different seeds during the night while her babies spent their days gathering water, digging holes, and planting the crops that mother brought back.

Mother would leave when the sun goes down and come back when the sun was coming up for the day. She expects her children to do their jobs. Bandit gathers the water into buckets and brings them back to the field. Rocky digs the holes for the seeds so Lulu can do her job of planting the seeds. At the end of winter and early spring, Mother knows it is time to leave and begin gathering seeds. But her children don’t exactly know yet.

As Mother is returning from gathering seeds, she wakes up Bandit and says, “It’s time to get moving, we need water for the crops to grow.”

Bandit rolls over and says “Moooom why am I the only one that has to wake up this early.”

Mother looks at Bandit and says “You aren’t the only one getting up. Now get moving!” So, Bandit gets out of the nest as mother wakes up the other two.

“Alright you two it’s time to get moving I’ve been out all-night gathering seeds and it’s your turn to dig the holes and get to planting”.

Lulu looks at her brother, Rocky and says, “Better get moving, your job has to be done before mine”.

Mother looks at Lulu and says “You better plant all the seeds I have gathered overnight while I get some sleep. When I wake up, I will go out and gather more.”

As Mother sleeps her babies do their jobs so they can ensure that they will have food for winter.

After a few weeks of planting their fields, they are finally finished.

Meanwhile, Bandit still complains that he is the only one that still has a job to do. He said, “Mom why can’t Lulu and Smoky help me with the water, there is so much to water and only one of me”.

“That’s a great idea,” says Mother. “Lulu and Smoky help your brother gather water for the crops so our food can grow before it gets too cold.”

“Ughh,” sighs Lulu and Smoky, “Why do we need to help, our jobs were to dig the holes and plant the seeds and we did that. We are done”.

Mother looks at the two and says, “You will do what I say, and I told you to help your brother.”

Finally, after weeks of watering the field, the family started to notice sprouts coming above the ground and the whole family celebrated with JOY! As the days went on, the family watered the field each day and the plants continued to grow taller and taller until they began to dry out. That meant one thing to Mother that her children were not aware of yet.

It’s Fall which is harvest time for the crops they had been taking care of all Spring and Summer long. The children thought that they could finally get some rest now from working, but their mother had additional jobs for them that they didn’t know about.

“It’s time to harvest the crops and I need your help,” said Mother.

“But it’s early and I’m tired” squealed her children.

“I will go through the rows and pick the crop off the stalk and Lulu you will gather it and take it to the nest,” said Mother.

Lulu looks at Mother and asks, “What are Smoky and Bandit going to be doing?”

Your brothers will be taking the stalk out of the ground and making more nests out of them to store the food in because not all the food is going to fit in our nest.

Smoky takes the job of building more nests as Bandit takes the stalks out of the ground.

“Why do I always get the hard jobs,” groans Bandit.

Mother snaps back, “we are all working Bandit, not just you. Now stop complaining and get back to work!”

After the entire field was harvested, cleared and nests were built, Mother looked at her children and said, “We have finished and should have enough food for winter.”

“Hurray” the children cheered! “We are finally finished!”

Mother says, “we can rest easy for the winter and get prepared to do it all again next year when spring hits.”

“I taught you how to grow food to make it through the winter and this is what life will be like for you when you leave the nest and have your own family,” Mother mentions to the children.

So, the family rests easy for the winter preparing to go out and teach their own children how to prepare food for winter as their mother taught them.


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Humanizing Science through STEAM Challenges Copyright © 2021 by E.J. Bahng and John M. Hauptman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.