It was still very dark, but Abigail couldn’t sleep. She was so excited. Snow was fun. Sitting by the window, she pulled the heavy curtain around her and looked out onto the street. It was all white. And so quiet. Not a sound to be heard. Leaning forward she pressed her paws against the cold glass and sighed. The others would be awake soon and they could go outside into the garden again. Thoughtfully, she wrinkled her nose, after breakfast of course. She did feel a little hungry.
Climbing carefully down the stairs, Preston yawned. It was very quiet, the snow muffled all of the sounds around them. There was a loud crash.
‘Grigs!’ shouted Patrick, ‘you’ve knocked another plate off of the table. That’s three in one week! Who’s going to pay for all these!’
The tiger shrugged, ‘it was in my way.’
‘It was on the table!’ said Patrick, waving his paws in the air, ‘what were you doing on the table!’
Turning his back, Grigs sat down and sniffed. ‘In the way of my bounce,’ he muttered, glancing back at the table. ‘Right in my way.’
‘Morning Preston,’ said Abigail brightly, waving her glass of orange juice at him. ‘Are you ready to come outside?’
Preston looked at her suspiciously. ‘Not if you throw those huge snowballs at me again. That wasn’t fun, they were very cold.’
Abigail giggled. ‘Oh come on.’ Opening the door to the garden, her fur flew back under a cloud of snow flakes. ‘Whooo..’ Wrapping her scarf up around her head she opened the door wider.
Patrick ducked behind a cushion. ‘Abigail shut that door!’
Ignoring him Abigail jumped out into the snow.
The sky was bright blue and the sun was shining. Everything sparkled, snow crystals looked a bit like the diamonds in her tiara and Abigail wandered around the garden, her paws making deep holes in the drifts. Leaning down, she drew a big round circle, adding some smaller round marks, she stepped back and eyed it critically.
Grigs bounced up beside her. ‘What’s that?’
‘It’s a giant paw mark,’ leaning forward she drew a round face and ears, then added two eyes, whiskers and some stripes.
‘Is that me?’ said the tiger, tipping his head to the side, he had a hat on with tassels but it was a bit big. ‘Have you drawn a picture of me in the snow? I look very fierce.’ Stretching out his tail, he jumped up into the air. ‘There’s a picture of me in the….opps!’ The hat slid down over his eyes.
‘Grigs you’ve jumped right onto it!’ said Abigail crossly. ‘You’ve ruined it now.’
‘Just put some snow over it and start again,’ called Patrick, clambering up onto a big stone, ‘that’s what’s good about snow.’ Leaning down he picked up a big handful and patted it into a ball.’
‘What are you doing?’ asked Abigail curiously.
‘Making a snow polar.’
Edging closer, Abigail watched him. It was true, she could see the shape of a small white bear appearing. It was very small, but she could see it even had ears.
‘Almost finished.’ Digging down and picking up some small bits of black leaf, Patrick patted them on carefully and stepped back. Now the snow polar had eyes and a round nose. ‘There,’ he said, shaking his paws, ‘a really good likeness. Preston come and look.’
Standing at the door, Preston narrowed his eyes as he studied the snow polar. ‘Who’s it meant to be? It doesn’t look like me. I’m much taller.’
‘No you’re not,’ snapped Patrick. ‘I’m much taller than you!’
There was a loud thump. Both Patrick and Preston lay on their back under the huge snowball.
‘What happened,’ squeaked Preston.
Abigail brushed the snow off of her paws. ‘I happened. It was nice and quiet out here without you two arguing. And if you ask me you’re both exactly the same size.’ Bending down she looked at the snow polar, it looked quite real. Nudging it with her paw she stared at it again. It was strangely fascinating.
‘It’s made of snow Abigail,’ said Patrick with a sigh, ‘it won’t move.
Abigail sniffed. She wasn’t quite sure she believed him…
It didn’t snow again all day but the sky stayed clear and it was very cold outside. Sitting in the nice warm kitchen Abigail looked out at the white lumpy folds. And watched the snow polar. It hadn’t moved all day, but she just had this feeling… As it began to get dark Patrick opened up the screen he always looked at and peered closely at it.
‘It might melt a bit tonight, it’s getting warmer.’
‘Melt?’ said Abigail in alarm, ‘you mean go away?’
Patrick nodded. ‘Yes of course, snow is like ice. It’s made of water, when it gets warmer it melts and runs away.’
Abigail glanced at the snow polar, sat on top of the big stone. What would happen to him. She stared at him worriedly.
‘I know what you’re looking at Abigail and I told you he’s not real, he’s made out of snow. He will melt too.’ He turned back to the screen, ‘but we can build another if it snows again.’
Kicking her paws against the chair Abigail sniffed. She didn’t want another snow polar, she liked that one.
It was very late, but Abigail still couldn’t sleep. Tossing and turning, her blue blanket wound itself up and over her ears and she pushed it away. Kicking at it irritably, she sat up. It was no good she was going to have to go downstairs. Was the snow still there? And the snow polar? Padding quietly out of her room she crept down the stairs. Softly pushing open the door to the kitchen, she climbed up onto the table.
In the moonlight the garden seemed to shine. It was melting! There were little pools of water everywhere! Heart beating fast, Abigail peered out of the window and looked for the snow polar. There he was! He was still there! She glanced behind her. No one there, everyone was asleep. Turning back and hesitantly raising a paw, she slowly waved. Nothing happened. The snow polar stood there, his leaf eyes staring back blankly. Abigail waved again. Still nothing. Ears drooping, she sighed. Surely he wasn’t really going to melt like all of the snow. It just didn’t feel right. Perhaps she’d better go back to bed, she felt very sad. As she clambered to her paws, she glanced back. What was that? There… in the garden…the snow polar was…waving. He was really waving at her! She knew it! With an excited gasp Abigail ran to the door. Struggling with the lock she pulled it open. It flew back against the wall with a loud bang but she didn’t care. ‘Hello!’ she called excitedly, ‘hello!’
The snow polar was climbing carefully down from the stone.
Abigail jumped over the step. ‘I knew you were real and I was right! There was something about you..’ She paused doubtfully. ‘Careful.. where are you going? I don’t think you can come in, you might melt.’ She glanced at the fridge. ‘I wonder if…’
The snow polar stood on the ground in front of her and twitched its black leaf nose. It waved again happily and with a shrug, turned and padded away down the garden.
‘Wait!’ said Abigail anxiously, ‘cant you talk? Where are you going now, you still might melt, I don’t want you to melt. Do be careful.’
Without a word the snow polar carried on walking as the moon came out from behind the clouds, shining down on the snow. There was a cold swirl of wind and Abigail covered her eyes, She blinked. Opening her eyes wide she looked around. There was no sign of the snow polar, just a trail of frosty glitter hanging over the garden in the sky. He had gone.
‘Bye,’ she said softly, raising a paw, ‘come back again when it snows sometime.’
‘Abigail what are you doing!’ hissed Patrick, stamping into the garden, ‘what was that noise, it’s freezing out here.’
‘Yes,’ said Preston grumpily, appearing beside him, his scarf all rumpled, ‘you woke me up too, what’s happening.’
‘I was saying goodbye to the snow polar.’
‘Abigail, I told you..’ sighed Patrick. He’s not real..’ he paused and leant forward towards the stone. ‘That’s funny, he’s completely melted.’ He leant even closer, ‘But there’s a hole in the snow where he was.. and the rest of the snow is still there. That doesn’t make any sense,’ his eyes widened and he pointed down the garden, his paw trembling. ‘Are those…’
‘Polar paw prints,’ breathed Preston, ‘all down the side and… they’re not ours.’
‘They go down the garden,’ said Patrick, shaking his head slowly, ‘then stop. If Abigail is right and he was real and got down, then where did he go?’
‘Back home, up into the air with the snowflakes,’ said Abigail happily. ‘I watched him.’ Padding back towards the kitchen she yawned. ‘I’m tired.’
Patrick and Preston stood silently in the snow. ‘Well,’ said Patrick with a shrug, “I suppose if we’re real…’ he looked up into the sky and raised a paw. ‘It was nice to meet you snow polar.’