“A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)
I love the winter.
The brisk air makes me feel frisky and want to run as fast as I can.
I was outside playing on a cold winter’s day. When I would breathe it would make little puffs of smoke in the air. Sometimes I would run until I couldn’t even catch my breath.
On this particular day, I saw something that I had never seen before. It made me stop and look up.
Beautiful white ﬂakes began to fall gently from the sky. I didn’t know what they were, but they were cold as they landed on my nose and eyelashes. Then they melted and I realized they were water.
Cold, frozen white water.
I had to run and tell Mom and Dad. I wondered if they had ever seen anything like this before.
I ran to the front door and barked and barked for them to come and see. Mama opened the front door to let me in, but instead she said “Oh my,” and stepped out onto the porch to look at the beautiful sight.
“Mama, Mama”, I said. “Look what’s falling from the sky. Have you ever seen anything like this before?”
But as usual, the only thing she heard was a lot of grunts that sounded like a pig. “oink, oink.”
Yes, that’s me, Jake the little pig dog. I’m the little black dog who grunts like a pig.
“Raymond, come look! It’s beginning to snow,” she said. “And not the little light stuff we usually get. They’re great big ﬂakes, and they’re beginning to cover everything. It’s starting to come down harder, too.”
“So that’s what it’s called,” I thought, “snow.”
My feet started dancing and prancing as I got excited.
“Don’t worry Mama! Those white things won’t hurt you. I was scared too at ﬁrst, but they turn into cold water when they touch you. Look, you’ll see!”
I ran out into the yard and started running around in circles as the snow ﬂakes began to cover the ground and me, getting my fur white as they began to stick.
“You have got to come see this, Raymond. Jake just loves it,” Mama said. Daddy came out on the porch leaning on his cane. I ran up next to him to show how I could shake the white stuff off of my fur.
“Jake! Jake stop! You’re getting us all wet.”
Brother had come outside by then, and they all laughed as I ran out into the yard and started running in circles again. After a while, we all went back inside the warm house.
Night was falling, but instead of getting dark, it got strangely brighter as the white snow started covering everything in sight.
It must have snowed all night long.
When Mama opened the door the next morning, it looked as if someone had stolen the yard and replaced it with this strange world of white. Everything seemed taller somehow, too.
The ground used to be lower than the logs that were around Mama’s garden, but now the ground was white and as high as they were. Even the bushes and the bird feeder had tall white hats on them.
Everything looked taller except for the trees. The branches that once reached to the sky now bent low to the ground, heavy with the piled up snow.
Even the wires that stretched from pole to pole down our street and to our house hung low as if straining from the weight.
And quiet. It was quiet, too.
The thick snow seemed to muffle all the sound. Not even a bird was chirping. I couldn’t wait to jump over Mama’s garden and start running as fast as I could across this frozen land.
But when I jumped, I sunk.
Instead of being hard and slick as I thought, it was soft and mushy.
Suddenly, my legs had disappeared and I was up to my chest and chin in cold snow. There was no running to be done. I had to hop like a bunny from spot to spot just to get around the yard.
The whole family came outside and had a good laugh watching me jump and run in the snow, and after some “oohs” and “aahs” at how pretty it was, we went inside for a warm breakfast.
We had no idea just how exciting this day was about to become.
It was while eating breakfast that we heard the loud bang.
At ﬁrst, I thought that it had thundered. I have always been scared of thunder, so I put my ears back and hurried to the safety of Dad’s side.
There was another loud bang, and then everything went dark.
“All the electricity has gone off,” Dad said. “The power line must have gone down from the weight of the snow.”
Dad looked out the window, and sure enough, a line had fallen across the street and lay on the ground sparking.
“There’s no telling how long the power will be off,” Dad said. “They probably have lines down all across the city. We had better get prepared in case it takes a while for that line to be repaired.”
Everyone began to hurry to get things done before the house turned cold. Mom and Brother brought out candles and ﬂashlights while Dad got out his tools to connect a gas heater.
Brother brought the heater in from the green storage building and Dad got it connected and working. Soon the house was toasty warm again.
“The green storage building!” I thought. In all of the excitement I had forgot about Marvin. Marvin was the possum that lived under the pile of branches near the green storage building.
I wondered if he was safe from the snow. Mom got all of the food from out of the fridge. She took it outside to pack it in the snow and keep it cold.
As soon as she opened the back door I ran past her to go check on Marvin.
“Hey Marvin, are you all right? Are you safe? Do you know what this white stuff is?” I was so excited; I was grunting the words out as fast as I could.
I came to a bouncing stop as I neared the fence next to his branch pile, but I didn’t hear a thing. “Hey Marvin, are you in there?” A little pink nose poked out from between the branches.
“Yeah, I’m here,” Marvin said in his squeaky voice. “How’s a guy supposed to get any sleep with all that grunting going on? You know that I wander all night and sleep all day.”
“I’m sorry,” I replied. “But I had to come and check on you to see if you were all right. Are you staying warm? Have you ever seen this white stuff before? It’s called ‘snow’.”
“Of course I’ve seen snow, silly. I’m older than you are, you know. But I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this much before.”
“I am staying warm, though. Thanks for asking.”
“When I woke up last night and saw the snow falling, I wandered out to that trash pile past the other ﬁeld and found an old blanket. I dragged it back here under my branches and I’m just ﬁne.”
“Great!” I grunted.
“I’ll let you get back to sleep now. I just wanted to check on you, but now I’ve got to go help my family. See you later,” I grunted back as I hopped through the snow and up to the little gray house.
We ﬁnally got everything done that we needed to do, so now we just had to wait until the power got ﬁxed. So we waited. And we waited. And it got boring real fast.
There was no TV for Dad, no computer for Mom, and no video games for Brother.
We all played “squeaky toy”, and “roll the ball”, and “tug the rope with Jake”, but even I got tired of that.
Then Brother went into his room, and came back out wearing his coat and gloves. “I’m going to go build a snowman,” Brother said.
“Let me get my coat and gloves and I’ll go too,” Mom replied. “C’mon Dad, get bundled up and we’ll all go have some fun.”
I didn’t quite know what a snowman was, but I sure understood fun. Hooray!
(TO BE CONTINUED)