Twelve Days of Christmas: Snow

This is from Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas Bop: Snow.


Gift of Snow


When the snow first arrived, in early October, Anya ran to catch the scattered flakes on her tongue. She and her younger sister shrieked as they darted among flakes thick as white butterflies.


They grafted snow angels onto the hillside, delirious with its chill embrace against their hot cheeks.



They tramped long white trails into the kitchen, melting by the samovar, to the despair of her mother, “Anya, this is not a barn!”


They snitched bottles of Grandmama’s cherry cordial, pouring them over bowlfuls of snow and eating till their lips were numb and crimson. They skated and sledded and rode the sleigh into town, bells jingling faintly.


The snow was a gift, until it caused the barn roof to collapse. All the animals died of exposure that night. All the stored food, the supplies to last them through the endless winter, were ruined and spoiled. The root cellar remained, but unending turnips paled after a while.


The snow drifts grew higher. Her little sister’s small belly distended painfully. They could no longer leave the house; fuel was scarce and it required too much to warm them again.


Late one night, when the moon was high and the wind stopped its shrill north howl, Anya put on all her sweaters, three pairs of socks and wrapped Grandmother’s shawl around her face. The snow surrounded her like two chill walls, a slender dazzling ribbon to guide her into town.


After a few hours, her legs grew treacherously heavy. Anya burrowed down into the snow. The stars were very bright. She shook her arms and legs to restore circulation. Her sodden limbs moved slower and slower.


When the guardsman found her the next morning, it just looked as if she’d created another angel, with the gift of snow.



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