142 At the Back of the North Wind
"Ah—yes — I see. But the birds get through the winter, don't they?"
" Some of them fall dead on the ground."
" They must die some time. They wouldn't like to be birds always. Would you, mother?"
"What a child it is!" thought his mother, but she said nothing.
"Oh! now I remember," Diamond went on. "Father told me that day I went to Epping Forest with him, that the rose-bushes, and the may-bushes, and the holly-bushes were the birds' barns, for there were the hips, and the haws, and the holly-berries, all ready for the winter."
"Yes; that's all very true. So you see the birds are provided for. But there are no such barns for you and me, Diamond."
" No. We've got to work for our bread."
"Then let's go and work," said Diamond, getting up.
" It's no use. We've not got anything to do."
"Then let's wait."
"Then we shall starve."
"No. There's the basket. Do you know, mother, I think I shall call that basket the barn."
" It's not a very big one. And when it's empty— where are we then?"
" At auntie's cupboard," returned Diamond promptly.
" But we can't eat auntie's things all up and leave her to starve."
" No, no. We'll go back to father before that. He'll have found a cupboard somewhere by that time."