By Andrew Lang
BeeOasis Step 2
Once upon a time there lived a farmer called Ivan. His wife’s name was Marie. They were very happy together. But there was one thing they were missing. They had no children. They used to like watching their neighbors’ children. But now they were old, and they wished they had their own child.
One winter, the snow was very deep. It came up to the knees of even the tallest man. When the snow stopped falling, the sun started shining again. The children ran out into the street to play. The old man and his wife sat at their window and watched them. The children made a little hill and pressed it hard and flat with their feet. Then they began to make a snow woman. Ivan and Marie watched them.
Suddenly Ivan smiled. Looking at his wife, he said, “Wife, we should make a snow woman, too!”
“Why not?” replied Marie. “It might be fun. But there is no reason to make a woman. Let’s make a little snow child and pretend it is a living one.”
“Yes, let’s do that,” said Ivan. He put on his hat, and they went into the garden.
Then they worked hard to make a doll out of the snow. They shaped a little body and two little hands and two little feet. They put a ball of snow on top to make a little head.
One of their neighbors walked by the garden. “What are you doing?” he asked.
“Can’t you guess?” Ivan replied.
“We’re making a snow-child,” Marie said.
They finished the nose and the chin. They made two holes for the eyes, and Ivan carefully made the mouth. As soon as he was done, he felt a warm breath on his cheek. He fell back in surprise. The child looked at him and smiled with warm, red lips.
“What is it?” cried Ivan. “Am I crazy, or is the thing alive?”
The snow-child moved its head. It moved its little arms and its little legs in the snow just as the living children did.
“Ah! Ivan, Ivan,” Marie shouted, shaking with joy. “Heaven has finally sent us a child! We will name her Snowflake.” And she held Snowflake and covered her with kisses. The loose snow fell away from Snowflake. Marie saw that it was a little girl in her arms.
“Oh! My darling Snowflake!” cried the old woman as she led the girl into the house.