Mr. Owl — along with Squirrel and Mama Chipmunk, who’d volunteered to act as chaperones — had taken the school children on a field trip to the wide meadow down the street from their home garden.
There, poking up from the winter-brown grass, was an absolute carpet (dozens? hundreds?) of purple crocus.
The field trip was meant to serve as both a counting exercise for the little ones, and a complicated higher-level math exercise for the older ones, but while Mr. Owl wasn’t looking, the chipmunk and squirrel children snapped crocus blossoms off their stems, flipped them upside down, and plopped them on their heads as tall, pointy purple hats.