Anne of Avonlea
13. A Golden Picnic
Anne, on her way to Orchard Slope, met Diana, bound for Green Gables, just where the
mossy old log bridge spanned the brook below the Haunted Wood, and they sat down
by the margin of the Dryad's Bubble, where tiny ferns were unrolling like curly-headed
green pixy folk wakening up from a nap.
"I was just on my way over to invite you to help me celebrate my birthday on Saturday,"
"Your birthday? But your birthday was in March!"
"That wasn't my fault," laughed Anne. "If my parents had consulted me it would never
have happened then. I should have chosen to be born in spring, of course. It must be
delightful to come into the world with the mayflowers and violets. You would always feel
that you were their foster sister. But since I didn't, the next best thing is to celebrate my
birthday in the spring. Priscilla is coming over Saturday and Jane will be home. We'll all
four start off to the woods and spend a golden day making the acquaintance of the
spring. We none of us really know her yet, but we'll meet her back there as we never
can anywhere else. I want to explore all those fields and lonely places anyhow. I have a
conviction that there are scores of beautiful nooks there that have never really been
SEEN although they may have been LOOKED at. We'll make friends with wind and sky
and sun, and bring home the spring in our hearts."
"It SOUNDS awfully nice," said Diana, with some inward distrust of Anne's magic of
words. "But won't it be very damp in some places yet?"
"Oh, we'll wear rubbers," was Anne's concession to practicalities. "And I want you to
come over early Saturday morning and help me prepare lunch. I'm going to have the
daintiest things possible . . . things that will match the spring, you understand . . . little
jelly tarts and lady fingers, and drop cookies frosted with pink and yellow icing, and
buttercup cake. And we must have sandwiches too, though they're NOT very poetical."
Saturday proved an ideal day for a picnic . . . a day of breeze and blue, warm, sunny,
with a little rollicking wind blowing across meadow and orchard. Over every sunlit
upland and field was a delicate, flower-starred green.
Mr. Harrison, harrowing at the back of his farm and feeling some of the spring witch-
work even in his sober, middle-aged blood, saw four girls, basket laden, tripping across
the end of his field where it joined a fringing woodland of birch and fir. Their blithe
voices and laughter echoed down to him.
"It's so easy to be happy on a day like this, isn't it?" Anne was saying, with true Anneish
philosophy. "Let's try to make this a really golden day, girls, a day to which we can