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This is a short fairy tale about the origin of snow and the power of words.
It was originally planned as part of a larger collection of these sort of mystical stories involving talking animals. It's written in a more uplifting tone than my usual stuff, and I don't know if I'll ever finish the larger story, but I love the winter imagery of this one, all on its own.
"And here are the tales that you will tell your children by the fire, when it rains outside, or when it snows. You may tell them one day, tell them about Winter's palace and her servants, dressed in white and black, or tell perhaps of the Spring Grove where the flowers wait, until they can grow again in your world."
So spoke Frog as he lounged upon a lily pad in the middle of the lake of mists. Around him, the water lilies bloomed with strange light and soft colors; the blue of a spring sky, the pink of a young apple, the white of fresh snow, the yellow of a winter sun.
"First is a story for a rainy day, or when it is cold outside. It asks you to dream, so if you're wide awake, close your eyes and listen to my words."
"Don't you ever forget that words have power. And those who use them gain that power. You say you know words have power. If you speak you can get what you want. And that is true. But sometimes, words possess a deeper power and for the right person, at the right time, they can make impossible things possible. Let me tell you a story and you will know what I mean. At the end, I will ask you a question."
"Once upon a time there was a girl, a very young girl. The girl lived in a beautiful city with beautiful houses and friendly people. The girl was very happy all through spring and summer and fall, but come winter the girl always grew sad. You see, in winter, the rain started to fall and never stopped. The girl forgot the color of the blue sky and the people of her city became sad and depressed, as if everything fell under a gray veil. And the houses of that beautiful city soaked up the rain until they were gray, too, and ugly.
Every night, the girl sat by her window and if the rain ever stopped, she stole a glimpse of the stars, shining in the sky like liquid diamonds. And every night the girl thought how much more beautiful the city would be, if the stars came down to shine their sparkling white light in the dark winter. And as she sat there, a song came into her mind. It was only an old silly song that her grandmother had taught her, but the song was about inviting the stars, the beautiful stars, to come down to earth and play. And so the girl started humming the song, and as she hummed, she noticed that the stars seemed to grow brighter. And so she began to sing. The girl was not a very good singer, mind you, but the singing wasn't important, the words were. As the girl watched, the stars started falling, they sparkled and glimmered and shone their white light around the city. And more and more fell from the sky, until the ground was covered in their white light and the water turned to ice where the stars hit the wet ground. And when the rain fell again, the stars played with the raindrops and the raindrops became snowflakes. That is why you can see the shape of the stars until this day, when you look at snow and ice.
The girl, who had called down the stars to play with her, kept her secret. Yet every winter, after the rain had fallen for a few weeks, the girl would call down the stars again, and they would come and play and turn the city white with their light. And so the girl was happy in the spring, the summer, and the fall, but the season she loved the most was winter, when her friends, the stars, would return."
"This is the question I ask of you: Do you know the song? I know it well, you might say. I learned it from my grandmother. Or perhaps you didn't. Have you ever called down the stars to play with you?"
I stood up and looked upon the lake and the water lilies, spreading out as far as I could see. Summer wrapped around me like a warm blanket.
"There was a winter, I said. A winter I remember well. At night, I used to sit by the window and look up at the sky. It was raining, and I wished for snow. And so, I would sing the song that my grandmother taught me and the snow would fall."
"So you do remember," said Frog. "But you doubt yourself."
"It only worked for that winter. I sang and the snows came and the next day I would go sledding at the hill, or skate on the frozen pond. It was the best winter I ever had. But the song never worked after that. So maybe it never worked."
"Not so," said Frog. "Words have power, don't you forget. And those who use words, gain that power."
"I will tell you a secret. To use your own words is better than using those of others. The snow song you learned as a child is old, and the stars know it well. Many people sing that song, and a few have power, but whom should the stars listen to? They are waiting for a new song. If you can find the words, the words will give you power, and the stars will come to dance with you."
"Teach me the words," I said.
"Nobody can teach you," said Frog. "The words are inside you. They are waiting for you to find them and let them soar."