|Posted on December 14, 2010 at 2:43 PM|
Timmy and Sally lived in a nice comfy house by a big roaring river. Their Mommy and Daddy loved them very much and life was good.
One fine winter day after school, Timmy and Sally were outside making a snowman. Their Mommy had bundled them up in nice warm clothes and boots and mittens so they would stay warm. They worked hard on their snowman; rolling the big snowballs firmly and slowly across the nice wet packing snow to make him big and strong.
The first ball was easy; they just pushed it and rolled it until it was too heavy to budge any further, and then Timmy decided that it was big enough.
“That’s enough, Sally,” he said to his sister. “This will be the snowman’s legs, and it will stay right here.”
Sally looked around. “He’s close to the river. That’s good, because he can listen to the water rushing by when we aren’t around to keep him company.” Sally was very sensitive, and didn’t want the snowman to be bored when she and Timmy had to go to school.
The middle ball was easy, too. That is, until Timmy decided that it was just the right size and was ready to get put on top of the first ball. For one thing, it was too heavy to lift. For another, it was nowhere near the first ball!
“We can’t carry it, Sally. We’ll have to roll it over to his legs, and hope it doesn’t get much bigger.”
But of course it did get bigger, and by the time they had the middle ball next to the bottom ball, it was way too big, and way too heavy.
Sally squinted up at her big brother. “What do we do now, Timmy?” she wanted to know.
“We’ll just have to start over. Let’s roll this one into the river.” They pushed and rolled and huffed and puffed, and soon tipped the giant snowball over the brink of the river, where it splashed down into the rushing water. Timmy and Sally watched it bob up and down a few times, and then begin to melt and dissolve into nothingness. Soon it was gone.
Their second attempt at the middle ball was more careful; they worked in small circles near the first ball, and finished it at just the right size and in just the right spot. Together, they managed to lift it onto the top of the first ball.
Timmy stood back, wiping his sweating brow, and admired their handiwork. Sally beamed with pride.
The final ball, the head of the snowman, was a piece of cake. They only rolled it a few times and it was perfect. Sally couldn’t reach high enough, so Timmy placed it on top of the snowman by himself. Then he and Sally packed small handfuls of snow into the cracks and smoothed over the bumps and lumps. Soon the snowman was beautiful.
“Yay!!!” shouted Sally, jumping up and down and clapping her hands together.
“Now he needs a face,” said Timmy solemnly. “And maybe some arms, too.” Sally accepted this without question. She knew that her big brother was very smart. Together they went to the riverbank to look for stones and twigs.
Timmy scrambled around the leafless shrubs and trees that grew along the bank of the river. He found two nice long branches that would make perfect arms for the snowman. They even had sprouting twigs on the ends that looked like long fingers! He shoved them into the middle ball, the snowman’s torso.
Sally found a handful of stones along the edge to use for the snowman’s facial features. She couldn’t reach to install them, but watched admiringly as Timmy stood on his toes and fashioned a nice long grinning mouth with the stones. He saved the two largest ones, black and round, to use as the snowman’s eyes. Then they both stepped back in awe of their creation.
“He’s beautiful!” said Timmy, impressed with the realism they had achieved.
“He’s scary!” said Sally, noting the lopsided grin and staring black eyes in the face. “I don’t think I like him!”
“Don’t be such a baby,” Timmy scolded her. “It’s just a snowman, he can’t hurt you.” So Sally tried to be brave, because she trusted her brother implicitly.
“Timmy! Sally! Come in for dinner!!” It was their Mommy, calling from the house. They went running in, ready for a nice warm meal in the house after all their hard work in the snow.
“Mommy, can we have a hat for our snowman?” Timmy asked. “He would look so much better with a hat on top of his head.”
“Yes,” said Sally. “He might get cold out there all night.”
“No,” said their Mommy. “I’m not giving you a perfectly good hat to leave out there in the snow all night long. The snowman will be warm enough without one.”
The next day, Timmy and Sally went to school as usual. They walked to school together hand in hand, and in the afternoon they walked home together as well. They liked to walk along the river, listening to its waters rushing by.
“Do you think our snowman missed us?” Sally asked.
“Don’t be silly, he’s just a snowman,” said Timmy. “But he sure would look cool with a hat.” He flicked his eyes back and forth, up and down, as if he half expected a hat to come tumbling along all by itself.
“Look!” said Sally, pointing to a leafless bush along the river bank. “What’s that?”
“I don’t know,” said Timmy. “Let’s go see!” Together, they ran to the bush, to see what the flapping, twisting shape was that was stuck in its leafless branches.
Of all things, it turned out to be an old, beat-up top hat! Tall and black, with a nice broad rim. It was not in very good shape; rather dented, and with a few tears and stains, but it was definitely a perfect hat for their snowman. They ran the rest of the way home as fast as they could, carrying their prize.
They soon were back in their own yard, panting from their run, looking at the snowman. Timmy reached up and placed the beaten up top hat onto the snowman’s head, then stepped back to appraise the new look.
As Timmy and Sally stood watching the snowman, hand in hand, a remarkable thing happened. First, the hat seemed to sink a few inches into the snow of the snowman’s head, and became firmly anchored. Next, the entire snowman shook and shivered, and stood a little taller and straighter. Then it began to move; slowly at first, in tiny little shivers, but then in more graceful, flowing motions. The arms swung at its sides, and the head turned slowly from side to side.
But the most remarkable thing of all was the snowman’s face. The row of stones he had for a mouth flowed together, forming a perfect mouth which opened and closed on its own. The stones remained, forming two perfect layers of teeth, both uppers and lowers. And finally, the large round black stones of his eyes came to life, sparkling with vitality and intelligence.
Timmy and Sally’s mouths gaped open in wonder. They watched as the snowman turned to face them and fixed them in his gaze.
“Hello, Timmy. Hello, Sally,” said the snowman in a deep, gravelly voice. He swept his arms back and forth in a graceful gesture. “Thank you for bringing me to life. And thank you for the wonderful hat.”
“You’re… you’re…. you are very welcome!” said Timmy, stammering, and nearly forgetting how to politely respond to someone who has thanked you for something.
Sally’s eyes were as round and white as her Mommy’s tea saucers. She stood rooted to the spot, too frightened to say a word.
“What’s the matter, Sally?” said the snowman. “Do I frighten you? I’m just a snowman. I can’t do you any harm.” He bowed deeply, and folded his hands across his chest. As he straightened back up, he gave them a disconcerting wink with one of his black stone eyes.
“Let’s play a game, shall we?” asked the snowman. “It’s called ‘Catch.’ You two run past me, and I’ll try to catch you in my arms. It will be fun!”
Sally shook her head, tears welling in her eyes. Timmy said, “No, thank you, Mr. Snowman. I think we need to go in for our dinner now.”
“Nonsense,” said the snowman. “Dinner won’t be served for quite a while yet. Come now, let’s play. But if you don’t want to run, I’ll do the running myself.” And with that, he proceeded to slide across the snow toward the two young children.
Sally screamed, and started to bolt toward the house. Timmy ran too. But the snowman was quicker than they were, and circled around them, cutting off their path to the house. Timmy ran straight into his grasp! The snowman held Timmy aloft in his spindly branch arms, and laughed in his deep booming voice.
“Ho ho! I’ve caught you! I win the first round.” And with that he placed Timmy back on his feet. “Now for round two! Start running!”
Timmy and Sally began running around in circles, too scared to think straight or to even make a path for the safety of their house. They ran, they dodged, and they slipped in the snow. But they got up and ran some more, the snowman always near on their heels.
“Ho ho! You two can run fast! But not fast enough! Ho ho!!” The snowman came up behind Sally and grabbed her around the waist. He lifted her high into the air. “Two points for me! Ho ho!!”
Timmy, seeing his baby sister so abused, was consumed by anger. In fact, he was so angry at the snowman that he forgot to be scared. “You put her down, you mean old snowman! That’s my sister you are holding there!” And he lunged straight toward the snowman, shrieking wildly, his arms outstretched.
“Ha ha! We are just playing, after all!” said the snowman, quickly dropping Sally into the snow. Sally just lay there, traumatized and twitching.
But Timmy never slowed down. He slammed right into the snowman, fists pounding. The snowman easily grabbed him and held him high over his head. “That’s three points for me! I win!!” exclaimed the snowman. And with that, he threw Timmy down to the snow beside his sister.
Sally still had her face buried in the snow, quaking with fear. But Timmy stared up at the snowman, consumed with hatred. He saw the gleaming black stone eyes. He saw the evil grin in the snowman’s mouth, and the two grim rows of stone teeth in its mouth. He prepared himself to launch another attack.
But the snowman was too quick. He reached down for Sally again, grabbed her in his two twiggy hands, and held her up over her head. “I won the game! My prize will be your little sister!” And with that, the snowman opened his mouth, very wide. Timmy could see the two cruel rows of stones part, revealing a deep, gaping hole. The snowman brought Sally down to his mouth, and bit off her arm! Timmy watched in horror as the snowman ripped poor Sally’s arm from its socket, and he heard the crunching and ripping as the snowman’s teeth ground her bones and tore her flesh.
“Stop it, stop it, stop it!” yelled Timmy, as he launched himself at the snowman, and pounded his fists against its torso.
“Ho, ho, ho!” chortled the snowman, as he effortlessly brushed Timmy aside with one arm, all the while holding the Sally with his other arm and munching away on her severed limb with his evil mouth.
As Timmy lay sprawled in the snow, he watched the snowman once again lift Sally to his face. But this time, he opened his mouth wider than ever; so wide that Timmy wondered if his head would split in two! But it did not split. Instead, he popped Sally’s entire head into his mouth, and bit down on her neck, severing it in a snap! Timmy could see blood spurting out of his baby sister’s neck, and he heard the crunching and popping sounds of her skull being ground to a pulp.
“Noooo!!!!” yelled Timmy, as he leapt to his feet. He launched himself once again at the snowman, but this time he caught the fiend unawares. He managed to push the snowman back, back, and further back. Timmy kept pushing, and with each shove he inched the snowman closer and closer to the river bank, and the rushing waters below. The snowman just chuckled and chewed, unaware of the imminent danger.
Inch by tortuous inch, Timmy pushed the evil snowman closer and closer to the river’s edge. Finally, with one last shove, he pushed the snowman over the bank, and they tumbled together to the icy waters below. They hit the surface with a loud splash, and bobbed up and down a few feet apart from each other.
The snowman wailed in pain as the water of the river engulfed him, and began to dissolve the icy crystals of his body. Timmy foundered in the water, numb from the cold, and watched as the snowman writhed and struggled. But slowly, gradually, the snowman lost more and more of his body to the river water. His arms fell away, and his teeth, and finally his glowing eyes lost their spark of life and dropped out of his face. The remains of Sally’s body drifted off to the far river bank and became tangled in the brush.
Timmy could barely breathe from the cold, and what breaths he did manage to take were mostly water which filled and burned his lungs. But he kept his eyes on the snowman. He watched the three balls of snow that made up the snowman’s body become separated, and get smaller and smaller and smaller until they finally disappeared entirely. Soon there was nothing left but the battered old top hat.
Timmy, frozen and exhausted, knew that he had beaten the evil snowman, but he was too weakened to save himself. With one final spasm of his battered body, he sank to the bottom of the river and drowned.
The top hat drifted down the river on the current. For several days it drifted, until it reached another town many miles downstream. Finally, it became lodged in a bush on the river bank, and there it stayed, undisturbed, for two weeks.
A young schoolboy named Bobby was walking home from school. There was a fresh fall of nice, wet packing snow on the ground, and he planned to make a snowman when he got home. He loved making snowmen, and considered himself an expert at it. As he walked home along the river bank, his eyes spotted a dark flutter in a nearby bush.
“Hey, what’s that!” thought Bobby. He trotted over to the bush to investigate…