Trisha woke up feeling that something was different. She looked out the window and saw that the ground was covered with a thick layer of new snow. She dressed quickly and crossed the hall to wake up Janis. Though her sister was four years older, they were close friends. “Hurry up and get dressed,” she urged Janis. “It snowed during the night, and I can’t wait to build a snowman.”
Janis rubbed her eyes. “It’s too early to get up. Anyway, the snow will be there all day.” She started to turn over to go back to sleep.
“No, some of it will melt.” Trisha pulled on her sister’s arm. “Come on. Get up.”
Slowly Janis sat up in bed. She looked at Trisha and tried to frown but smiled instead. “I can tell you’re not going to leave me alone,” she said. “And building a snowman is always a lot of fun.”
Trisha tried to skip breakfast, but Mother insisted they have warm food in their stomachs before going outdoors. So Trisha ate her oatmeal as fast as she could. Then she had to wait for Janis to finish. What if most of the snow is melted by the time we get outside? she worried. But when they left the house, there was still a lot of snow on the ground. Her eyes sparkled with excitement as she looked around.
“Where do you want to build the snowman?” Janis asked.
“Right here in the middle of the front yard. I want everyone in the whole neighborhood to see it.”
They began to scoop up armfuls of snow and heap it in the center of the front yard. A half hour later, when they paused to rest, their snowman was beginning to take shape.
Trisha glanced toward the house next door. She was a little surprised to see her friend Marny standing at her bedroom window watching them.
She waved to Marny, and her friend waved back. Marny looked very unhappy. Ever since she’d become sick a month ago, she’d had to stay in the house. Trisha knew that Marny wished she could be outside playing in the snow too. Trisha went over to visit her almost every day, but it wasn’t much fun for either of them—not the kind of fun they had when they played outdoors together.
Trisha wasn’t as happy while she and Janis built the rest of their snowman, because she kept thinking of Marny.
“He’s done,” Janis said after a while. “Of course he’ll need some finishing touches. I’ll go get what we need.”
“Wait!” Trisha burst out. “I know Marny would like to help us make this snowman. She can put on the finishing touches.”
Janis looked surprised. “But Marny’s sick. She can’t come out here.”
“No, but she can still help. Wait here. I’ll be right back.”
Trisha ran to Marny’s house and knocked on the front door. Marny’s mother opened it and smiled at Trisha.
“Marny’s upstairs,” she said. “She was wondering if you were coming over for a visit today.”
Trisha smiled back, then ran up to Marny’s room. When she left Marny’s house ten minutes later, she had all the things she needed to finish the snowman. There were blue buttons for his eyes, a big black button for his nose, a string of cranberries for his mouth, an old felt hat for his head, and a scarf for his neck.
“He looks almost alive,” said Janis.
“I think so too,” Trisha agreed. She looked over at Marny’s bedroom window. Marny, of course, had been watching everything that they did, but now she wore a happy smile.