No Dialogue Contest entry, Round 56, December 2020
|Once upon a long time ago, on a snowfield far away, a rare and quite wondrous thing happened. Snow fell in springtime on the Australian (aptly named) Snowy Mountains. Normally—in WINTER (which is NOT at Christmas-time in this neck of the woods)—snow falls lusciously deep, transforming the bushland of the mountains into a white and sparkling wonderland of silent splendour.
Once upon an even longer time ago, in her neck of the woods (the Adelaide hills of South Australia) in the middle of last century, a little girl was hastily bundled into the family car by her loving parents and driven up to the highest look-out point to witness a fabled snowfall for the first time in her entire six years.
It should be pointed out that the glistening fall was small (some cruel souls would say pitiful), but really…
what would you expect from a mountain where you can drive a regular car to its peak? To add to the less than
pristine, porcelain picture was the added burden of even this coldest winter for many decades still not being
vaguely frosty enough to sustain the crispy frozen-ness for long. Sadly, that meant there were only pockets of
snow of egg-shell delicacy and one dwarfish snowman shrinking by the minute.
The little girl was nonetheless impressed with what she had only seen in story books and Christmas cards. Totally
bewitched by her freezing fingertips, she savoured the unimagined lip-tingling taste of frozen cloud-drops. They
say, even when her sparkling eyes finally closed that night, the sweetest smile hovered at the edges of those lips.
Fast forward to the unseasonal snowfall on those Snowy Mountains; that little girl all grown up now, married and returning from honeymooning in Australia's north eastern tropics. Four weeks had passed since the last 'real' snowfalls had transformed from powder and laciness, to iciness then water. Now it was the turn of the famous grey-blue-green of the Australian bush to flourish again in a brilliant show of thankfulness for the life-giving power of moisture in this country's harsh climate. Until…
The new husband heard the startling news reports on the radio about an unseasonal whiteout and couldn't resist the romance of detouring some hundreds of miles for his beloved to experience the wonder as he'd known it throughout his growing up years in Denmark. Alas, much of this 'short but sweet' magic had evaporated before they arrived, despite his most determined driving through countless tight winding curves on an ever-steepening road.
He knew his bride to be an optimistic type, but couldn't believe how highly gratified she was by the smallest of windfalls… and snowfalls, too. Still, his disappointment was great after such high hopes of showing her a wondrous display of vast areas of alabaster whiteness. He had much to learn about his newly chosen country. A desperate glance around revealed a nearby stash of snow built up to a handy size behind a rock — and best of all, out of his innocents bride's sight. An unexpected plan evolved.
Sneaking along the passenger side of the car where she sat, mesmerised by the view of many pockets of whiteness, he shouted a loud warning to duck—a snowstorm approached. With a mighty flourish, he flung a great armful of snow as hard as he could against the car window. And then could hardly stay upright for laughter as she really did duck, and gasp, and cover her mouth with her gloved hands—first from shock, and then from joining into the hilarious reality of her personal snow-storm. Countless times in the future, her two tales of the sum total of her 'snow experience' would be relived and enjoyed.
Now, there's a memory that has never melted for either of them… more than half a century later!