The Sun's Heat

: Fables For Children, Stories For Children, Natural Science Stori

Go out in the winter on a calm, frosty day into the field, or into the

woods, and look about you and listen: all around you is snow, the rivers

are frozen, dry grass blades stick out of the grass, the trees are

bare,--nothing is moving.

Look in the summer: the rivers are running and rippling, in every puddle

the frogs croak and plunge in; the birds fly from place to place, and

whistle, and sing; the flies
and the gnats whirl around and buzz; the

trees and the grass grow and wave to and fro.

Freeze a pot with water, and it will become as hard as a rock. Put the

frozen pot on the fire: the ice will begin to break, and melt, and move;

the water will begin to stir, and bubbles will rise; then, when it

begins to boil, it whirls about and makes a noise. The same happens in

the world from the heat. Without heat everything is dead; with the heat

everything moves and lives. If there is little heat, there is little

motion; with more heat, there is more motion; with much heat, there is

much motion; with very much heat, there is also very much motion.

Where does the heat in the world come from? The heat comes from the sun.

In winter the sun travels low, to one side, and its beams do not fall

straight upon the earth, and nothing moves. The sun begins to travel

higher above our heads, and begins to shine straight down upon the

earth, and everything is warmed up in the world, and begins to stir.

The snow settles down; the ice begins to melt on the rivers; the water

comes down from the mountains; the vapours rise from the water to the

clouds, and rain begins to fall. Who does it all?--The sun. The seeds

swell, and let out rootlets; the rootlets take hold of the ground; old

roots send up new shoots, and the trees and the grass begin to grow. Who

has done that?--The sun.

The bears and moles get up; the flies and bees awaken; the gnats are

hatched, and the fish come out from their eggs, when it is warm. Who has

done it all?--The sun.

The air gets warmed up in one place, and rises, and in its place comes

colder air,--and there is a wind. Who has done that?--The sun.

The clouds rise and begin to gather and to scatter,--and the lightning

flashes. Who has made that fire?--The sun.

The grass, the grain, the fruits, the trees grow up; animals find their

food, men eat their fill, and gather food and fuel for the winter; they

build themselves houses, railways, cities. Who has prepared it all?--The


A man has built himself a house. What has he made it of? Of timbers. The

timbers were cut out of trees, but the trees are made to grow by the


The stove is heated with wood. Who has made the wood to grow?--The sun.

Man eats bread, or potatoes. Who has made them grow?--The sun. Man eats

meat. Who has made the animals, the birds to grow?--The grass. But the

grass is made to grow by the sun.

A man builds himself a house from brick and lime. The bricks and the

lime are burnt by wood. The wood has been prepared by the sun.

Everything that men need, that is for their use,--all that is prepared

by the sun, and on all that goes much sun's heat. The reason that men

need bread is because the sun has produced it, and because there is much

sun's heat in it. Bread warms him who eats it.

The reason that wood and logs are needed is because there is much heat

in them. He who buys wood for the winter, buys sun's heat; and in the

winter he burns the wood whenever he wants it, and lets the sun's heat

into his room.

When there is heat, there is motion. No matter what motion it may

be,--it all comes from heat, either directly from the sun's heat, or

from the heat which the sun has prepared in the coal, the wood, the

bread, and the grass.

Horses and oxen pull, men work,--who moves them?--Heat. Where does the

heat come from?--From the food. And the food has been prepared by the


Watermills and windmills turn around and grind. Who moves them?--Wind

and water. And who drives the wind?--Heat. And who drives the

water?--Again heat. Heat raises the water in the shape of vapour, and

without this the water would not be falling down. A machine works,--it

is moved by steam. And who makes steam?--Wood. And in the wood is the

sun's heat.

Heat makes motion, and motion makes heat. And both heat and motion are

from the sun.