I started working on this story (which is meant to have 3 parts) a few days before Christmas. Then, when the lonely Christmas day came, writing the continuation gave me the strength to believe that my existence matters, somehow. I hope you enjoy the ride and, if you do, you will share it with your friends. I would be honored to learn your thoughts, in the comments section, as well.
Part I – Where did all the snowflakes go?
“Why is there no snow?” the little girl asked.
“Well, snowflakes never come alone, my dear” Mommy answered. “They need queen fairy Freeze to do her magic first. But seems like she’s been exiled, to the land of Sadness, by the mean ogre of Envy. He was jealous of the beauty of Freeze and the marvelous landscapes she created, so I believe that he decided to send her away, so that he could take over the world.”
“Oh, Mommy, but how will the world know it’s Christmas time if there are no snowflakes?” the sister asked. “Oh, my! And what about Santa? How will he ride his sleigh if there’s no snow?” she carried on, with bitter tears in her eyes.
“My darlings”, the Father said, “there must be something we can do about it. Let us check out the fairy tale library, shall we?”
Sparkles of excitement would shine in the eyes of the little ones at hearing their father’s idea. And a huge smile took over their tiny faces:
“Darlings”, the Father carried on, “each of us four should pick up a fairy tale book. We will read them, one by one, every night before bed. By Christmas time, I’m sure that the mystery gets solved. But be aware: we cannot skip any book or page. And, to avoid dispute, we will do this: after we choose the books, Mommy and I will write down the titles on small pieces of paper. Then, with your eyes closed, you two will take turns in drawing the titles. Deal?”
“Oh, oh! How exciting!” one of the kids said. “Can I go first? Since I’m the elder…” the girl giggled.
“Well”, Mommy replied, “let’s play a little game before deciding who goes first, ok? Both you and your sister should tell the rest of us why should the snowflakes come back. The reason that touches our hearts the most will be the winner. And so, the girl who gave the winning answer can go first. Fair enough?”
“Yeah, sort of…” the youngest replied. “But I’m worried. What if I can’t give an answer that’s good enough?” she carried on.
The father looked the mother in the eyes and they knew it was the perfect timing for both girls to learn something important. Mommy confidently winked at daddy and he spoke:
“My darlings, no answer can be right or wrong. We accept all ideas and this game is meant for you to understand that no one is above another. What matters here is the intensity of the feeling the answer sends out. We’ll give you five minutes to think about the answer. All you have to do is ask your heart why you want the snowflakes to come back. After you ask, close your eyes and listen closely. You should make no sound while listening. When Mommy and I walk back into the room, you can open your eyes and tell us what your heart’s answer was. Sounds good?”
“Perfect!” the elder sister said.
“Ok, then. Daddy, let us set the table for dinner” the mother lovingly said.
After the parents stepped out of the room, the youngest one said in a demanding voice:
“No cheating! Do you think you can do this, Jane?”
“Look who’s talking!” Jane said in defensive. “Really? I should be asking you this, Diana. It is you that’s cheating all the time!” Jane scolded her sister.
“That’s not true!” Diana said. “Not true at all!”
“Yes, it is! Stop lying!”
“Yes, you are!”
“No, I’m not!”
“YES, you are!”
Jane turned her back and so did Diana. One moment later, they were sitting back to back, angry at each other.
Silence followed, but the girls found it impossible to focus on their task. Deep within, they were angry as they thought the parents would choose the answer of the other.
Mommy and Daddy overheard everything, so they agreed to give the children some extra time. And so, the girls were left there for thirty minutes, instead of five. During all this time, none of the girls said another word to the other.
Suddenly, the girls heard a strange set of noises in the distance:
Boom-boom-boom! Clink! Clink-clank! Clink! Clink-clank! Boom-boom-boom! Clink! Clink-clank! Clink! Clink-clank! Boom-boom-boom!
In the beginning, those noises scared them, yet they were too proud to talk to the other. But the more they listened, the more beautiful it became. It was as if those noises were the secret tool they needed to dive within. Soon, there was no shade of anger on their little faces. Instead, hope sprang in their hearts and light covered their beautiful faces. It was the perfect setting for asking their hearts why they wanted snowflakes to come back. And just the right time to learn the answer.
“Honey, let’s check on the girls” Daddy said. “There’s something going on there.”
“Darling, just let them be” Mommy replied. Do you like to be interrupted when doing something important?”
“Not really. No, I don’t like anyone to intrude in my business” Daddy replied.
“Then give them the space they need, honey. We’ll find out everything when they’re ready. You’ll see” Mommy giggled, while giving daddy a warm hug.
“Maybe you’re right” Daddy said, hugging Mommy back.
When the time was up, Mommy and Daddy walked into the room. The girls looked so peaceful, standing still, with their eyes closed! It was as if they have been taken out of a marvelous angels painting: they were smiling and still closely listening to their hearts. Seems like the given quest was exactly what they needed.
The girls opened their eyes at the same time, without knowing about the other doing the same.
“Welcome back” Mommy warmly said. “How was the trip?” she giggled.
Diana wanted to tell her story first, so she couldn’t afford any delay in answering:
“Oh, Mommy ! It was the greatest adventure ever!”
“How come?” Mommy asked. “Would you like to share it with the rest of us?”
“Certainly” Diana spoke. “But you need to listen closely!” she carried on in a sweet childish, demanding voice.
“Of course we will” Daddy said, with a serious yet calm face. But his heart was filled with joy at seeing that the girl understood part of the task so well. “Please, enchant our ears” he added.
Diana cleared her throat and started:
“I always loved snowflakes. They’re so perfectly shaped and they’re almost fluffy. Too bad they can’t last more than a few seconds if they’re alone. But as they fall down from the sky along with the others, they make a magical white blanket that protects nature. And you know how much I love nature! This is why I want snowflakes to come back.”
She took an even more serious stand and gave it another thought, for a few more seconds. Then, as if she turned into a completely different, big-eyed and energized child, she added:
“And of course! I want to play with snowballs, I want to build a snowman and I want to shape angels with my arms and legs!”
Mommy and Daddy indulged a few seconds of silence, for Diana’s excitement to settle down for a bit. Then, Mommy exquisitely played the role of the judge:
“Great answer, Diana. We’ll evaluate your answer and give you an answer once Jane finishes sharing her reason as well.”
“Oh? But why not now, mommy?” Diana asked.
“Because justice requires us to listen to both stories, first. We can’t share our opinions without learning Jane’s story, can we?”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right” Diana said in a disappointed voice. “But I’m going to win! I know it!” she added in a laughing, pure voice.
“We shall see” Daddy replied. “Let us hear Jane’s story as well, ok?”
Diana sealed her lips, without losing hope. She just knew that her answer was the best.
Jane’s turn to clear her throat finally came. She gracefully did so, then she spoke:
“I would like queen fairy Freeze to be set free. If only the ogre let her speak, he would understand why winter is so important and why snowflakes can’t dance by themselves. I’m sure that Queen Freeze can turn the ogre into a charming Prince. And I know that, if that happens, the ogre – now turned into a charming Prince – would take over the kingdom of another season. Maybe autumn? Or summer? Maybe spring? It doesn’t matter what season, but he would let winter to queen Freeze. They would be happy to take turns in changing seasons, instead of fighting all the time.”
Mommy and Daddy were fully immersed into Jane’s story. And so was Diana. None of them was able to say a word, so Jane carried on:
“I wish for the snowflakes to come back and I hope that my sister and I never fight again…”
Fairy Happiness waved her wand in that very instant. Mommy and Daddy hugged the children and Diana burst into tears.
“I don’t want to fight with you again” the little girl said. “I love you so much, Jane!”
“I love you too, Diana” Jane sweetly answered. “We should always be hand in hand, sis, not against each other.“
That answer made Diana cry even louder, as waves of love invaded her small heart! Deep within, Diana knew that she and Jane could make a great team, if they wanted. At the same time, she knew that if both of them behaved well, they would make their parents proud and very happy.
That last thought helped the little girl to calm down. As this happened, an idea popped into her mind. She didn’t want to lose one precious moment, so she spoke:
“I think Jane’s story is the winner! She made me cry with happiness… I think no answer could be more intense than that.”
Mommy and Daddy silently agreed, yet Daddy found it fair to ask:
“Diana, why should we choose Jane’s story and not yours? We know how much you enjoy winning. Why do you give this chance away, this time, sweetheart?”
Daddy’s question had a hidden purpose. He wanted to make sure that Diana caught the correct lesson from this little game.
“You are right, daddy, I do love to win. And I was sure of my success until Jane shared her story. There is something about it… I’m not sure if I can say it right, but… I don’t know. There was some sort of strange feeling I got while listening to her.”
The girl took the thinking stand of an adult, placing her right fist under her chin and looking in the distance. Suddenly, she jumped with joy and added:
“Huge love, that’s it! That’s the feeling I got.”
“That’s wonderful” Mommy said. “But now I would like to learn an answer from Jane (Mommy turns to the elder sister and says): what is it that you felt when Diana shared her story, darling?”
“I was proud of her, because she said she loved nature. And I love nature too. Fairy Freeze should protect it with the white blanket Diana mentioned, mommy.”
“Wow! Great answers, you two!” Daddy said. “We are very proud of you, girls! Now, Mommy and I will take two minutes to decide which one should be the winning answer ok?”
“But, daddy, why do you need to think about it? Didn’t you say that you need to feel it?” Diana asked.
“Bravo!” Mommy said, clapping. “You really got this one too, child!”
“I guess you caught me on this one, Diana” Daddy said with a smile. “It is so. You need to feel…”
“And how do you feel about our answers, daddy?” Jane asked.
Neither Mommy nor Daddy predicted this! Their children were way wiser than the parents knew. The father found himself in a very delicate position, as he didn’t want to hurt any of the girls’ feelings. He looked at Mommy, scratched his head, took a deep breath, stood up, walked around the room and still had no idea how to word his answer to such question. Diana was very competitive and winning was everything to her. However, she was ready to give up on the first place to allow her sister’s story to take the gold. On the other hand, Jane was very sensitive, compassionate and always ready to make her sister happy, so she was also willing to give up on the prize. Difficult task!
Mommy realized that Daddy was not ready to give an answer just yet, so she broke the silence:
“Girls, both of your answers were beautiful. Do you know why?”
“Why?” Diana and Jane said in a voice.
“Your answers were beautiful because both of you put someone else first. Diana, you chose to put nature and its safety before your own happiness. Jane, you chose to put the power of communication, collaboration and love between Queen Freeze and the ogre first. You see, my darlings, your answers say a lot about what your hearts desire, deep within. I believe that you two learned a very important lesson from this little game. And the lesson is that the love for the other makes each of you feel happy. Is this I correct?”
“You are so right, Mommy!” Diana jumped. “And I also realized how much I love my sister!”
Daddy seemed to have finally found his answer:
“My darlings, let me tell you how I felt while listening to your stories. I felt happy, proud, amazed and very grateful. Both of you made me realize that I want queen Freeze and the ogre to become friends too, so that they can both protect nature, together. So, I believe we have our winner now. Please stand up!”
Diana, Jane and Mommy stood up. Mommy joined Daddy’s side, making two teams. At this moment, each team was standing in front of the other.
Daddy took his right fist to his mouth, then placed the left one in front of the right, pretending to have a horn he was blowing. Then, in a very official tone, he said:
“Ta-ta-ta-ta! The winner of our game is…”
Daddy whispered in Mommy’s ears: “Drums, please.”
Mommy pretended to play the drums, making funny gestures in the air.
Daddy cleared his throat and took it from the beginning:
“Ta-ta-ta-ta! The winner of our game is… Oh, wait ! (he lifts his right index finger and scratches his chin with his left hand) It can’t be just one winner. (Clears his throat again) The jury has decided. This game has been won by… Diana and Jane! Ta-ta-ta-ta!”
“Oh, my God! I won, I won! Yupieeeeeee!” Diana jumped with joy.
“Uhm… We both did, sis” Jane laughed.
“Oh, yes! Yes, you’re right, Jane. Congratulations!”
“Thank you, Milady” Jane said with a giggle, and made a reverence to her younger sister. “Congratulations to you too!”
Diana found it fair and funny to imitate Jane with the bow and they both burst into laughter.
“Congratulations, my darlings” Mommy said. “I couldn’t be happier!”
While she was hugging the girls, Mommy realized something. She suddenly said:
“Who is going to draw the name of the books now? How will we decide which story goes first, in our quest of saving Queen Freeze from the ogre and bring back the snowflakes?”
“Oh-oh!” the girls said in a voice. “That is a serious problem” Diana added.
Daddy had such a good laugh at hearing this, making the girls even more confused!
As soon as he managed to put his serious face back on, he said:
“I believe Mommy should draw the titles”.
“That’s a wonderful choice, daddy” Jane said. “So be it!”
Mommy blushed at hearing this, but she said in a funny voice:
“Can I cheat?” and she couldn’t help her laughter.
“You know what, Mommy? To make sure that you can’t cheat, you will draw the titles blindfolded” Daddy giggled.
“Here goes my chance!” Mommy laughed, and her joy was followed by the daughters’.
To be continued…