Mrs. Green was not perfect. She was very aware of this and it did not bother her a bit. In fact it came in quite handy on occasion. Sometimes it was good to ask for help. Today was one of those days.
Sue was visiting all week long. Sue was one of the teenage friends who came to music practice at the Green’s. She stayed with the Green’s when her parents went out of town a few times a year on business. Sue had a way with Ampersand and had become one of his favorite people.
Juliette was also very fond of Ampersand and the feeling was mutual. Juliette was a sweet three year old, who visited Mrs. Green every week. Juliette was French and when her family first came to America she stopped speaking all together. Juliette’s English had really improved.
Today Juliette came for her visit late in the afternoon instead of early in the morning. Juliette was not quite herself. She didn’t want to make cookies or play games. She stomped her feet when Ampersand would not sit still for her. She shook her head when Mrs. Green offered her a snack. Mrs. Green was running out of ideas.
Just then Sue came home from a very long day at school. Sue was in the Chamber choir, the school play, the band, and ran track and field. By the time Sue got to the Green’s after school, she still had hours of homework to do.
Sue greeted Juliette and Ampersand and saw the pleading look on Mrs. Green’s face. Juliette was looking out the window at the snow. Sue put down her books and got a glass of milk. She sat down on the floor next to Juliette and looked out the window with her. She offered Juliette the milk. Juliette shook her head.
“The snow is very pretty, isn’t it Juliette?”
Sue spoke in a soft quiet voice. She had babysat Juliette before and had a few tricks up her sleeve for coaxing her into a quiet mood.
“See those bumps in the snow Juliette?” The snow was starting to melt and it looked like Mrs. Green had tiny mountains all over her yard.
Juliette looked more intently outside. She brushed the hair away from her eyes.
Sue continued, “Those bumps in the snow are from tiny snow people. They come out only when it snows, and they are so small you can’t see them. They like to slide down the tiny snow mountains on their very large feet.
Juliette looked at Sue. She held up her foot and said, “Feet?”
Sue went on, “Yes. Their feet are almost as large as their legs and they smooth out the snow and slide from tiny hill to tiny hill making those small mountains all over Mrs. Green’s yard. If you are very still and listen very hard you can hear the sound of their large feet swishing in the snow.”
Sue made soft swishing noises. She picked Juliette up and sat with her on the comfy chair in the living room with Ampersand. They looked out the window together and imagined the invisible snow people with the very large feet swishing from tiny snow mountain to tiny snow mountain.
When Mr. Green walked in the door a half an hour later, Juliette, Sue, Ampersand and Mrs. Green were all sound asleep in the living room. Mr. Green did not wake them, because sometimes you just need a nap.
Copyright Terri Neagle Donaldson 2015
Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Terri Neagle Donaldson and Stressfreestories with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.