It took Abigail a little while to settle in again, after meeting the Queen. She was also very fond of wearing her new tiara around the house, although the polar looked at her oddly. Preston seemed a bit sulky because he hadn’t met the Queen, although he kept telling everyone how he had saved the day.
‘You wouldn’t have done it without me, I organised the rescue. All of it.’
‘You didn’t have to get on a train and a bus,’ muttered Patrick, ‘or look after a tiger.’
‘And it was very dark!’ added Grigs, ‘I had to be very brave.’
Abigail didn’t really care, she was very happy. The house was warm, there was plenty to eat and the diamond tiara was just so pretty. She often held it up to the light and watched it sparkle. The weather outside was getting very cold. Pressing her nose against the window she looked up into the grey sky. Dark grey clouds blew across the tops of the trees and the branches waved too and fro. A lot of the leaves had fallen onto the ground and were piled up in damp brown heaps.
‘It’s not very nice out there,’ she remarked.
Patrick climbed up beside her. ‘It might snow,’ he said, ‘there’s a front coming in.’
‘A front of what?’ asked Abigail, confused. ‘A front of a house? A front of a bus?’
‘A weather front,’ sighed the Polar, ‘it makes the weather change and it might make it snow.’
Abigail wrinkled her nose. That sounded very confusing. How could the sky have a front? Did it have a back too? The polar seemed quite certain though so she didn’t say anything. She didn’t want to upset him. Abigail had seen snow before when she was in the shop. It made everything all clean and white. She’d never been out in it though and wondered what it felt like. It probably felt all warm and fluffy, it looked just like a nice white blanket. She sighed happily. Snow would be fun. She was sure of it.
Next morning, Abigail stretched out under her blue blanket and yawned. The house was very quiet. Stretching out her paws again, right up above her head, she clambered down and over to the window. Pulling the curtains back with her claws she looked out. It was all white! It had snowed! The hedge and the path had disappeared under lumpy white piles of fluff. Soft flakes drifted down past the window. Hurrying down the stairs Abigail ran towards the back door. Patrick and Preston were sitting at the table eating breakfast.
Preston looked up. ‘Where are you going? Don’t open the…’. A wave of cold air and snowflakes blew him backwards against the wall. ..’door!’ he squeaked.
Patrick was holding onto the edge of the table, his blue scarf flying out behind him. ‘Abigail shut the door! We’re all getting wet! Its snowing really hard!’
Abigail didn’t listen. The wind felt icy cold but once she’d got into the snow she was sure it would be all warm and cosy. Raising her paws right up in the air she leapt up and dived. There was an ‘omff’ noise and she slid deep into a snow drift.
‘Oh dear,’ muttered Patrick.
Sitting up Abigail gasped and opened her eyes wide. Rubbing her fur she sneezed loudly. Snow was cold! Cold and wet! It wasn’t a bit like a blanket at all. And now it was all over her fur. Clambering to her paws she kicked the snowdrift hard. Then fell over. It was wet, cold and very slippery.
Both polars were standing at the kitchen door. ‘Abigail come back in!’ shouted Patrick. ‘It’s freezing out there and you’re letting all the cold in.’
Trying hard to get up, Abigail slipped and fell over again. Lifting her snout out of the snow she waved her paws in the air.
‘You’ll have to go and get her,’ said Preston, ‘she can’t stand up it’s all slippery out there.’ He paused. ‘I knew this would happen.’
‘Oh well if you knew this would happen then why don’t you go and get her,’ said Patrick crossly. ‘If you know everything, then you do it.’
With a snort, Preston clambered over the step, snowflakes were blowing in hard through the kitchen and he reached out a paw towards the doorframe and pulled himself forward. ‘Looks like it’s me to the rescue again. Abigail, come here, don’t stand up, crawl back towards me.’
Abigail couldn’t see much, the snow was in her eyes. She didn’t want to crawl through wet snow so she tried to stand up again. There was a soft thump.
‘I said don’t try and stand up,’ snapped Preston, ‘here, give me your paw!’
As Abigail reached out her paw, a round white ball flew through the air and hit Preston hard on the back of the head. Letting go of her paw he fell forward into the snow.
‘To the rescue again?’ shouted Patrick, ‘I did all the rescuing and you just sat at home on the table.’
Swaying, Preston sat up. ‘Did you just throw a snowball at me?! That could have been very dangerous!’ Gathering up some snow he pressed it into a ball and threw it back hard at Patrick. Patrick ducked, then giggled. In spite of himself Preston giggled too.
‘I’m still here!’ Abigail sat angrily in the cold, watching snowballs fly through the air. Why had she thought snow was soft, fluffy and warm like a blanket. She wished she had her scarf on. Both polars were ignoring her and throwing snow at each other. They kept missing, she’d be much better at it she was sure of it. Climbing carefully to her paws, she edged towards the kitchen door. Clinging onto the step and climbing in, she shook herself hard. Snowflakes flew out around her.
‘It’s snowing in the kitchen!’ shouted Grigs in panic. ‘Where’s the roof gone?’
‘It’s not snowing it’s me!’ said Abigail crossly, trying to brush herself down. ‘The roofs still here.’ Dripping wetly over the floor, she plodded down the hall and up the stairs. ‘She needed a towel to dry herself off. Then she’d put her warm scarf on. Throwing balls of snow was cold but she was sure she could throw them further than Patrick and Preston. She paused. That would serve them right for not helping her.
Standing on the step the tiger looked out of the kitchen door. ‘Come on Grigs,’ called Patrick, ‘come out here and play with us.’
Grigs looked at them doubtfully, ‘I don’t know…’ slowly putting one paw out, he shook it. ‘Cold! ‘Ohffff!’ A snowball hit him right on the snout. ‘Stop it!’ Another snowball hit him on the ear.
Abigail appeared at the door, wrapped in her orange scarf. Eyes gleaming, she reached down and scooped up a pawfull of snow. Her paws were much bigger than the others. Reaching up high she threw the snowball hard. It caught Patrick on the back of his head and catapulted him forward. He let out a squeak and waved his paws. ‘Got you!’ shouted Abigail happily. Preston backed away. There was a thud. ‘Got you too!’ she shouted. Scooping up another huge ball of snow she raised it over her head.
Both of the polars lay on their back in the snow. ‘Do you wish we hadn’t started this?’ asked Preston.
‘Oh yes,’ sighed Patrick. ‘It looks like Abigail now likes snow after all….’