Winter Joys

 

     Dancing snowflakes fill children’s eyes and hearts with joy. The curtain of silver stars spreads upon the rusty colors of autumn. A white carpet covers the numbed nature. The huge winter ball room is ready to welcome its honored guests, the children, innocent and honest profiteers of the secrets hidden in the ice castle. Little noses pressed against the windows, smiles up to their ears, the children are enchanted by the elegant, enticing snowflake game.

- I want to make a suggestion, the teacher said. Let’s all go sleighing tomorrow, on the slope by the school.

- Yes! Yes! All children agreed.

- Will you join us? Maria asked.

- It is Saturday. I can afford a few hours of relaxation in the open air, said the teacher.

- If we all go together, they will let me, if not, they won’t, Tamara said.

- Teacher, can you steer a sleigh? Dan asked.

- I was a child once too. I used to enjoy sleigh riding very much. People say it’s like riding a bicycle, you never forget.

- We’ll help you, if you forgot, Maria said.

- I can’t wait. I want everybody in the class to take part to this activity. We’ll meet tomorrow at 10. Now go back to your seats.

- Are we going to make a snowman too? Tamara asked, while trying hard to climb on the seat specially made for her.

- Sure we will! Bring everything needed.

- I will, Nelu said. I will load everything on the sleigh. I have a broken pot, an old broom, coal and carrots. Sandu will help me.

- May I bring my skis? Daniel asked. They are small, they will not bother anybody.

- If you are ok with the sleighing slope, no problem, the teacher added.

The Arts class quickly finished. It was not difficult for anybody to paint a winter scene, while thinking about the plans for the following day. Discussions continued on the way home.

- My sleigh catches quite a speed… I’ll tell dad to polish its

plates. I can’t wait for tomorrow, Ionut said.

- Big deal! You boast so much about your sleigh. I don’t even

think I’ll come… I’m not in the mood… what’s so interesting about

sleigh riding?... Paul asked.

- I would like to make a snowman, Tamara said.

- You can make a snowman in your own yard, Paul replied.

- Sure I can, but I would not have all of you by my side. It is not the same. We can even make a contest for the most beautiful snowman.

- And maybe you would also like to win the contest! Would you care for a ladder, so you can put the pot on his head? Paul commented.

- You should control your words. You are mean, Anca said.

- So I am the mean one. I can see the truth. Stupid winter games! Leave me alone, with your sleighs and snowmen. I have better things to do, Paul added.

- We are children! We should enjoy things we can do now. One day, we will regret not talking advantage of what childhood offers, Tamara said.

- Even if I come, I will just look at you fooling around. I dislike you game.

- You are not as mean as you want to seem, Tamara said.

- Aren’t you the smart one, “dwarfy”? Paul asked.

- You enjoy teasing me about my height! It makes you feel good, doesn’t it? But I believe you have bigger issues than I do. Nothing and nobody is enough for you. Your soul is seriously ill! I would never change places with you, Tamara said with sorrow. 

    She broke away from the group. She wished she could have walked faster. But her legs wouldn’t allow her. She didn’t want anybody to see her tears. She wasn’t able to hold them back. Tears were rolling down her little cheeks, then stopped on the thick shawl around her neck.

- What came on to you?... Did you forget she helps you with French and Geography?... I’d like to see what you will do now, that you fell out with her, Anca said.

- Who does she think she is, to judge me?

- You talk of judging! I’m starting to think she’s right. You have great issues with your soul, Anca added.

- You all think you are so cool! Leave me alone!... Paul said and started off in the opposite direction.

     The day followed its usual path towards night. The full moon and the stars were watching kindly over the nature. The shades of darkness were dancing upon the white and cold planes. In the morning, a pale sun showed itself among the grey clouds. Slowly, big and heavy snowflakes took its place, hurrying down on the ground. In the schoolyard, children were watching and enjoying the snow falling.

- It’s like a fairytale. What big snowflakes! What a wonderful day! Ioana said.

They started off towards the slope, cries of joy paving the way. A fall, a sleigh out of control, a snowball in a hat and colorful laughter made the climbing easier.

- Tamara, join us on the sleigh, Ioana said.

- I’m afraid a little!

- I know very well how to steer the sleigh. Don’t be afraid, Ioana added.

     Tamara got off the sleigh and started making a snowman. Her height, much too short, prevented her from working as fast as the others. It was beyond her power to make a big snowman, although she really wanted to. She will make a smaller one, just like her. The snowballs started to take a shape, one after the other.

Astray snowballs found their way to her. They didn’t hurther, she liked this innocent game. She fi nished. She would ask Anca to put the pot on the snowman’s head. While happily savoring her success, a sleigh passed by her destroying all her work. It was Paul, the classmate that hurt her feeling the day before.

- Oh dear!... I didn’t think you could do this!... I’ll tell the teacher, Anca said.

- No worries. He just took out his anger. My little snowman came in handy… It wasn’t a very good snowman anyway… I’ll make another one, Tamara said.

     Paul’s behavior bothered everybody. Everything was done on purpose. They all gave Tamara a helping hand. Shortly after, a new snowman was smiling happily from under the broken pot. He was small, as she wanted, so that she could shape his clothes and trousers. A carefully picked branch, black coal and a carrot completed her work. She brought an old shawl for him from home. With her tiny hands, she was denting the snow, shaping his clothes. He seemed alive, ready to thank tamara.

- God, he is so beautiful! Anca said.

- This would have never crossed my mind. His clothes seem so real, when all you did was play with snow and coal, Ioana said.

- This is a very beautiful little snowman. Those folk designs on his clothes make this a true work of art. Good work Tamara! Said

- You should punish Paul for destroying the first snowman, Anca said.

- What you did was very wrong. You should apologize, she said.

- I forgave him anyway. Actually, I should even thank him. I couldn’t have made the first one this beautiful. My classmates helped me make him, and the tears shed while working gave warmth and charm to my little snowman… I am sure he is sorry. He is a good classmate, but he doesn’t yet have the strength to show it.

- Please forgive me! And made a respectful bow to the white man. Then he turned towards Tamara, bowed to her too and asked her to dance.

Children’s applauses burst out in the huge winter ballroom of nature. Joy is surrounding you. You forget everything and, for just one moment, you go back to your childhood, where happiness is at home.

Exercise

Imagine Tamara is your classmate. Could her height be an obstacle

in the way of your friendship?

Did you know that…

The term „midget” is offensive to people with dwarfism and should not be used; the term little people is used in the United States. People with dwarfi sm are able to do almost any type of work. People with dwarfi sm lead a normal life, attending school, and can become very successful with a fulfi lling career. Dwarfism can be caused by over 200 distinct medical conditions.

 

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