THE SNOW MAIDEN
Once upon a time there was a beautiful garden which became even more beautiful that day, after a heavy fall of snow covered the ground, the trees and bushes in a soft white mantle. A little boy and girl were playing happily in the garden, they were brother and sister.
They chased each other, threw snowballs and played hide and seek under the fir trees. Then the little girl said, "Let's make a snow doll."
They began to make a snow doll and decided it would be a girl.
"So there will be three of us and we'll have more fun!" said the little girl. So they carefully built a doll made of snow, with a pretty oval face, long hair, large eyes and a delicate little mouth. It looked just like a real little girl.
"Let's give her a kiss and maybe her lips will turn red like ours," said the sister. So they kissed the doll... and lo and behold, its lips turned red!
And the snow doll's cheeks turned pink. When a sudden gust of wind blew from the north, the doll came to life. It moved, smiled at the two children and started to play with them.
Some time later, the children's father returned from town. When he saw the girl in white playing with his own children, he said to himself, "It must be one of the neighbour's daughters." Then he said to the little snow doll, "Come into the house and get warm." But the snow maiden made a frightened sign as though to say "No!" The man, however led her into the house, saying, "Oh, you're so cold! The fire will soon warm you up!" But the snow maiden sighed sadly, though she didn't have the courage to speak. In she went and stood by the window, looking out at the white garden. Then she began to weep - as slowly and gently, she began to melt... until nothing was left of her except a trace of white snow on the floor...