And so the months passed and spring came. The sky grew blue, the flowers came out, the baby animals came into the field, the birds began to sing, and the sun shone. But there was still no sign of the egg.
Summer came with long hot lazy days, green grass turning to yellow, and the rat swam in the fishpond outside and wished he could tell the egg about his adventures.
Autumn came, wet and brown, with conkers and fruit, wind and damp, and still the rat found no friend like his friend the egg.
And then it was winter again. The days grew colder, darker, and the last plants and leaves faded away. The rat curled up in his hole and remembered the day that the egg rolled in.
One night, he poked his nose out of his hole, ready to scuttle across the carpet and go foraging. A familiar scent – the smell of pine needles – met his nostrils; his eyes were dazzled by a mass of coloured lights, and his heart leapt as if he faced a cat or a dog, for surely this could only be the Christmas tree!