All the birds had arrived back home from their various winter vacations, just in time for Raccoon’s equinox party.
On a giant picnic quilt in the greening meadow, she’d set out tiny bowls full of seeds and nuts (and sugar-water for the early bees), egg salad sandwiches on sourdough with tender early-spring greens, carrot-cake-and-walnut muffins with loads of fresh butter and, for the cats, oily anchovy fillets on toast points.
Mama Chipmunk brought her first lemon cardamom cake of the year, along with a bowl of whipped cream.
And Rabbit, who had snuck over to the woods in the pre-dawn to forage for some of her supplies, brought delicate flower crowns, woven with winter roses and spring beauties and wild violets.
At dusk, everyone trooped to the woods, where Mouse and the crows had gathered a tidy pile of twigs for the first-day-of-spring bonfire which, as always, would burn long into the night.