Fairy school was out for the Winter Break and many fairy children, as children do sometimes, get bored. What can you do when it’s so cold out that your nose turns bright red from the icy wind biting the end of it? Ollowa, a boy fairy, and his sister, Tyenna, waited by the window of their room for Old Master Time to go by. Old Master Time is the fairy who is in charge of making day and night and he rings the bell to tell everyone it’s time to change the seasons, too.
“I think Master Time purposefully goes slow when you want him to go fast and goes as fast as he can when you want him to go slow,” complained Ollowa. He was looking at all the flakes falling from the sky. Their Hada told them they couldn’t go outside to build snowfairies until after the snow stopped coming down.
“It’s just not fair!” Tyenna sat next to her brother, grouching about rules that made good sense. If they went out and built snowfairies now, the snow would cover them up almost as fast as they could build them. “We should be allowed to at least TRY to build our snowfairies! We could build them under something and be able to finish them,” Tyenna mumbled in protest.
“Oh! Let’s go tell Nahina that! If we can get her on our side, Hada will probably let us go try that idea,” Ollowa said excitedly. “Come on, Sis! Let’s go find her.”
Nahina, which is the name fairies call their Nanas and Grandmas, was in the kitchen. She loved to cook and bake and mix things together. Today, she was collecting snow for her famous Snow Cream recipe. She still needed to go get cream from the cows in the field behind their house and she needed to collect the honey from the bees in the top of the tree. She was just wringing the oil out of peppermint leaves when Ollowa and Tyenna walked in, bubbling and talking over each other. “They’ve got something under their wings, that’s for sure,” she thought to herself, chuckling. “Wait, wait, wait!” She held up her hand to stop them, “I can’t understand what you’re talking about,” she told them. “One at a time. Now. Who’s idea is this?” Tyenna held her hand up high, looking at her brother to make sure he didn’t have his hand up, too. “Okay, Ollowa, you get to have your say after your sister. Tyenna, you get to tell the idea first. Let’s hear what you two are up to.” Nahina looked over the edge of her glasses at them with her eyebrows raised, waiting.
Tyenna was so excited to tell the idea, she didn’t hardly know where to start! “We were upstairs. But outside and snowflakes. I wasn’t happy, so we want to build snowfairies where it’s not snowing!”
Nahina blinked at her, trying to put the story together from the spots of thoughts Tyenna could get out. “Okay,” she drawled, “You want to build snowfairies inside the house where it’s not snowing?”
Ollowa let out a barking laugh while Tyenna blushed. Ollowa said, “No, Nahina. She meant that we could build our snowfairies outside under a cover, where the snow isn’t falling very deep. The base of the fir tree would work well, don’t you think?”
“Oh,” Nahina said, thinking about this. It sounded an awful lot like they were asking another adult for permission to do something they were already told they couldn’t do, and that means trouble for each of them. “I think your Hada told you that you couldn’t go out to build snowfairies, didn’t he?”
Both fairy children looked guilty, but Tyenna said quietly, “Yes, he did, Nahina. But we aren’t asking you if we can go out. We want you to talk to Hada and tell him of our idea and he’ll listen to you and he’ll let us go outside, don’t you think?”
She looked over the rim of her glasses again at each of them, studying the two standing before her. Finally, after what felt like an eternity to the children, she nodded her head. “Ok, I’ll talk to Hada with you. Next time, though, you need to talk to your Hada by yourselves. You’re each getting too big to be hiding behind my wings.” Nahina glanced outside at the flakes. They were quite large. The kids did have a good idea, though. “Let’s go find him.”
They walked through the house to where Hada was just bringing in the last armload of firewood for the stove. He started unloading the wood, stacking it neatly in the corner near the stove. Hada looked over his shoulder at the three standing under the archway between the dining room and their living room. The room was warm enough that he didn’t need to put more wood on the fire right now, so he went over to his chair and sat down. Then, he waved them over to stand in front of him. Nahina sat in the chair next to his. “Yes,” he asked his two kids.
Neither one wanted to start telling Hada about this idea. He might get upset at them and then they’d have to do chores. Hada watched them try to find the words to start telling him what new idea they had today. Nahina watched them, too. No one said anything. So, Nahina started.
“The children were just telling me that you told them they couldn’t go outside and make snowfairies in the snow today,” she began. “They said it was because the snow flakes cover them up too fast while they’re out there. But, they sat upstairs and think they’ve come up with a solution, if you agree to it.” Nahina nodded to Secreta, encouraging her to tell her idea.
“Yes, Hada. We think we’ve come up with a good solution,” Tyenna noticed Hada’s eyebrow starting to raise, so she rushed to finish. “We’d like to build our snowfairies under cover outside where it doesn’t snow much, like beneath the fir tree. We’re not asking what we asked before. Well. We are, sort of. But it’s different, too. Can we, Hada, please?”
“Are you going out, Nahina? If you’ll at least go out and make sure of the space, then, yes. They can go out and build snowfairies in a covered space,” Hada agreed.
“Yae! Thank you, Hada! Thank you, Nahina! Hooray! Let’s go get ready,” the children said excitedly.
They got on their extra pair of tights, two pair of socks, two shirts, long underwear, pants, snow suits, coats, wing warmers, gloves, scarves, boots, and hats. When they were finished, they felt like they had pillows strapped to them all over! Nahina opened the door for them all and each tromped outside. They looked around and found a spot under a large bottom branch of the fir tree. They started to roll the snowfairy bodies, but discovered that there were too many twigs and dirty spots to really make a good snowfairy. Disappointed, they stopped. The snow was still falling down and the children looked at Nahina sadly, knowing they’d have to go back inside soon if they couldn’t figure out a way to build their snowfairies.
Nahina was leaning right up against the huge tree trunk, watching the snow fall from the clouds to the ground. It looked so peaceful and quiet. She noticed suddenly that Ollowa and Tyenna were also quiet. She turned her head and saw them sitting, deflatedly, near their dirty looking snowfairies. “What’s wrong? You’re outside, getting to do exactly what you wanted to do,” she asked.
“The snow is too dirty to make a good snowfairy. It looks more like a mudfairy than one of snow,” stated Tyenna solemnly.
Ollowa continued, “Well, it looks like a snowfairy who took a tumble off a cliff, at least. Please don’t make us go inside. We’ll figure another solution out, but we need time to think about it.”
“I am going to make you go inside for a little while. It’s too cold out here to sit and think. We’ll go get some hot spiced berry tea with whipped cream on it and we’ll all think together where it’s warmer. How does that sound,” she asked.
The two children nodded their heads and everyone went back inside to think about what could be done to fix the snowfairies who were so dirty. They thought about getting a new solution for a long time, but no one came up with anything. Finally, Nahina refilled their cups and said, “I think we’re trying to find a solution to the wrong thing.”
“What,” asked Ollowa, sounding a little shocked. “But we want to build snowfairies and can’t right now.”
“Yes, I know that part,” said Nahina, tsking him. “But, the real question is, do you want to build snowfairies or are you just wanting to play outside in the snow?”
Tyenna told her, honestly, “I just want to be outside and not have be in here all day long.” Ollowa nodded his agreement.
“So. We don’t need a solution to building snowfairies at all! What we need is something new to do outside in the snow,” Nahina said gladly. With a twinkle of mischief in her eyes, she told them, “I know just the thing to do.” Clapping her hands, she said, “Okay, Ollowa, I want you to go get the silver spun web we got from the Spiders this year. Make sure it’s the webbing from this year! Then I want you to get dressed up again in your snow clothes. Tyenna, you come along with me. We’re going back outside to check on some things.”
Ollowa and Tyenna looked at each other, but saw that neither knew what Nahina was up to. They shrugged their shoulders and went to do what Nahina told them.
Nahina and Tyenna went outside to the tree again. They took off their wing warmers and flew to the top branches, where Nahina began measuring snowflakes. She yelled to Ollowa that they were up in the tree and he came to join them. He gave her the webbing, which she started to tie to the snowflakes she set aside. Then, she tied the other ends of the strings around her waist and under her arms, like a funny looking coat. Before either child could say anything, Nahina backed up to the tree trunk on a branch, then started running off the end of the branch!
The kids cried, “No, Nahina!” But they were too late. She had already jumped off the end. When they looked to the ground, though, they couldn’t see her. She wasn’t there! They looked to the other branches to see if she had gotten hung up, but saw instead that she was hanging from the snowflake, floating down to the ground! “Oh,” they squealed, watching intently, “That looks like fun! Can we try?”
Nahina floated to the ground, untied her snowflake, and flew back up to the top of the tree. “That was more fun than I’ve had in years! Here, let’s tie this around here,” she tied another snowflake up and tied it to Ollowa. “Okay, hold your flake in front of you, then run as fast as you can off the branch. After you jump off, throw your snowflake up in the air above you. That’s all you need to do! Okay. Ready? RUN!”
Tyenna watched as her brother floated to the ground while getting the snowflake tied up for her run. She held the flake firmly in front of her, ran as fast as she could, leapt off the branch and threw the flake up above her. Tyenna slowly floated to the ground, untied the flake and left it there to go find another. This was great fun!
On the other side of the field, Princess Kaera looked outside her window. This was her first winter in her own house and she was more bored here than she ever remembered being at home with her family. She scanned the field for any activity to watch. Then, she spotted the children and their Nahina. She watched them jump from the branch two times each, before she went to get her own spun webbing, got her winter clothes on and went to try this new game.
Kaera ran, jumped, and threw the flake over her head. She floated slowly to the ground. It was so much fun! She did that a few times, but the ride from the tree tops was over so soon. Suddenly, she had a great idea. She flew to the clouds, where the snowflakes were created, and got a brand new snowflake. She wondered if it was a smart thing to jump off a cloud, but it was only a small thought that she ignored. After her flake was tied on, she ran, jumped, and threw the flake over her head. The floating trip down to the ground was so free feeling and it was so much fun, that she decided she needed to first thank the creators of the game, then tell everyone about it! Snowfalling was so much fun!
From that day on, whenever it snows, if you look very closely, you can see the little fairies attached to each flake as it floats down to the ground. Where they land, they leave the snowflakes and fly back up to get another. Sometimes, the game lasts for many days and many nights. So, the next time you want to go outside to play in the snow, be careful not to step on the fairies playing their game of Snowfalling!