Photo courtesy Sue Vincent
Alex had gone to bed happy last night, very happy. It had been snowing so hard since morning yesterday that not just their cottage, but the road to the village, and the village itself had been covered with a blanket of thick snow by the evening. That obviously meant one thing, and only one thing, a snowy day school holiday!
Too excited with the prospect of a bonus mid-week school holiday, Alex stayed up till very late at night, despite his mother’s usual admonitions. The snowfall was continuing at a furious pace, and tomorrow was obviously a holiday, so why waste a good ‘weekend’, he thought to himself. He slept off at 2am finally, dreaming of a warm quilt, and mugs hot chocolate with his best friend Ginger the entire day. Life was good, in fact, he corrected himself, life was perfect.
“ALEX!!!!!” he thought he heard his mother shout out his name, but it couldn’t possibly be true. He must be still dreaming. She always let him sleep in till late on holidays. So he just turned over, tucked himself deeper into the blanket, covering the little pockets from which cold air was trying to make its way in, and went back to sleep. Or tried to, for he was immediately jerked awake by a violent shaking of his bed.
“Whaaaaaaaat is it mom?” Alex drawled sleepily, “why are you troubling me on a holiday?” “Holiday?” cried out his mother, “What holiday? Get up, you’re already late for school. I don’t have time to go to the Principal’s office again on your account.”
“Look outside mom,” Alex said in a patient voice, as if speaking to a ‘slow’ person, “We are all snowed in, the school is closed.” So saying, he opened the window, and pointed outside with aplomb. And it was then that he realized, that it had stopped snowing long ago, the sun was up, and the snow outside had not just started to thaw, but had almost melted away. There was no way the school would be closed today now.
For a minute, Alex was flummoxed. he could see his dream of lying in with Ginger and having mug after mug of hot chocolate melting away along with the snow, but then, he remembered something, and a quite smile crept up his face. He turned towards his mother, and said in an innocent voice, “OK mom, you don’t worry, I’ll be ready in a jiffy and reach school before the morning prayer starts.”
But as soon as his mom left, Alex quickly took out his mobile phone from under the pillow, and typed out a long message to Ginger.
20 minutes later, Alex entered the living room and sat down for breakfast, all dressed up like a sincere and dedicated student. He quickly gobbled up his toast with orange marmalade, and gulped down a full glass of hot milk. “Come mom,” he said to his mother, “let us go to school.”
While he strapped his school bag on, his mom opened the door…..and saw…..nothing, absolutely nothing. For there was now a thick layer of snow outside their cottage again, making it impossible for anyone to go towards the village. What she did not see because of the thick blanket of snow covering her vision was that the snow was only enveloping their cottage, the grass in the park outside was now absolutely green, and the road to the village almost clear of snow.
“Nature!” she exclaimed disgustedly, then shrugged, and closed the door. “Go back up and change Alex,” she said, “there is no way the school is going to open in this freak weather.”
“OK mom,” replied Alex in a sad tone, and walked back up with slumped shoulders. But if his mother could see his face, she would have seen the twinkle in his eyes. “You did it Ginger,” he muttered under his breath, thanking his stars for the millionth time that he had a Frost Giant as his best friend.