"The Snowman" (Andrew Mitchell )
They floated and fluttered. Zigzagged and swirled. Giant snowflakes fell from the sky, painting the whole world white.
"Grandpa! Snow!" Frankie cried, as he ran to the window. "Can we make a snowman?"
"Yes, indeed," replied Grandpa, getting their coats.
The backyard was piled high with foamy-white snowdrifts. Frankie made a snowball. Frankie pushed it and rolled it until it became a life-size snowman almost as tall as he was.
"This is the best snowman ever!" Frankie exclaimed.
"He is special, indeed!" Grandpa said, heading for the house. "Our snowman needs some special clothes."
Grandpa strolled over to an old trunk where he kept some of his favorite things from the past. "I'm sure we can find something for our snowman to wear."
Frankie peeked inside.
"Why did you save these things, Grandpa?" Frankie asked.
"Because they mean something special to me." Grandpa had a faraway look in his eye.
"This is the hat I wore when I first came to America," Grandpa said, holding the worn, brown hat in his soft hands. "It was a cold winter night when I first saw the lights of this great country, and I was grateful to have my hat with me to keep me warm."
Frankie grabbed the knitted scarf and flung it loosely around his neck. "Does this have a special story, too, Grandpa?"
"It sure does." Grandpa's eyes were twinkling. "This is the scarf I wore the first time I met your grandmother. She was a fine lady, and I knew from the first moment I saw her that I was going to marry her. Sometimes I miss her very much."
"I like staying at your house, Grandpa," Frankie said, as he struggled to get Grandpa's old, leather gloves on.
"Here," Grandpa said. "Let me help you. These are the gloves I wore on that cold, December night your mother was born. I had to stop the car several times on the way to the hospital to scrape the snow off the windshield. But I made it just in time to see your mother being born. It was a proud night."
Frankie and Grandpa hurried outside and dressed the snowman in Grandpa's hat, scarf and gloves. Snowflakes whirled and twirled in the frosty air like tiny winter flowers.
"There!" Frankie exclaimed. "You are a wonderful snowman with wonderful memories."
It was cold outside, and lavender shades of twilight were falling on the snow. Frankie and Grandpa rushed inside where Grandpa had made a big pot of hot chocolate.
Grandpa placed two large cups on the table and filled them with the creamy, chocolaty treat. "This reminds me of the night you were born," Grandpa said. "Your dad, grandma, and I stayed up half the night waiting for your arrival. We must have sipped a gallon of hot chocolate. And then there you were. The most beautiful baby we had ever seen." Frankie glowed. He liked this story.
It was nighttime, and Frankie climbed the stairs to his bedroom. From his window, he could see the snowman dressed proudly in Grandpa's memories. The snowman suddenly looked bright and magical in the moonlight's glow.
And then it happened — in the magical glow of the moonlight — Frankie was sure he saw the snowman tip his hat with his gloved hand and smile at him. Frankie beamed, rubbing his tired eyes. It had been a wonderful, snowy day.
Special thanks to Andrew Mitchell for his illustration. To see more of his work, visit ajmitchellart.com.