The Big Snowstorm and the Apology

By Linda Porter Carlyle

MacKenzie Isabelle Evans couldn’t believe her eyes as she looked out the bedroom window! In fact, she rubbed them to make sure she was not dreaming. “It snowed!” she shrieked as she leaped out of bed. “It snowed!” she yelled as she jumped down the stairs, two at a time. “It’s still snowing!” she hollered as she flung open the back door and stared at the beautiful world.

Mom looked up from the pot of polenta she was stirring on the stove. “I thought you’d be pleased,” she said with a smile.

“Can I go outside and play in it right now?” Mac asked. “Please? Please! I’m not hungry! I can always eat later!”

“Sure,” Mom said. “Breakfast isn’t ready yet anyway.”

Mac charged back upstairs. She rummaged in her bottom drawer for her pink snow pants. She pulled a turtleneck shirt over her head and then opened another drawer to find a wool sweater. She tugged on thick socks and stuck her head in the closet to find her boots.

Mac clumped back down the stairs.

“Don’t forget a hat,” Mom said. “And you’ll probably want gloves.”

Mac stood on the back porch and looked across the perfectly smooth, snow-covered lawn. Pristine, she thought, trying out her newest vocabulary word. The lawn was perfect and pristine. Fat flakes drifted slowly down from the gray sky. They looked to her like feathers. Like an angel had ripped open a feather pillow and was gently shaking it out over the earth.

Mac jumped off the porch. The snow crunched under her boots. She picked up a handful of it and began to make a ball. She would make a snowman—No! A snow-woman! She added more snow to her ball and then began to roll it across the yard. Maybe she could make her snow-woman before Joseph woke up. Wouldn’t he be surprised to see a snow-woman standing in the yard?

Mac pushed her snowball back and forth across the grass. It grew bigger and bigger, until it was awfully hard to push. Well, that was big enough for the bottom of her snow-woman, Mac decided. She picked up another handful of snow to begin the second big snowball, which would be the snow-woman’s middle.

“It snowed! It snowed! I can’t believe it! Why didn’t you call me and wake me up?” Joseph shouted from his back porch as he tugged on his gloves.

Mac looked up and grinned. “Come on! Help me build my snow-woman,” she invited.

Joseph jumped off the porch and jogged across the yard. “A snow-woman!” he scoffed. “Whoever heard of a snow-woman! Nobody builds snow-women!

Mac’s already red cheeks flushed even brighter. “What do you mean?” she asked. “I guess I can build a snow-woman if I want to! I’m going to put a long pink scarf around her neck. And I’m going to put my purple baseball hat on her head. And I’m thinking about putting my old pink tutu on her. She will be absolutely elegant! Just wait and see!”

“Ho!” Joseph hooted. “That will look so stupid!”

Mac stamped her foot. Fierce anger welled up inside her. She was so angry she wanted to hit somebody. She looked at the big snowball in her hand. She looked at Joseph. Then she took aim and let the snowball fly. It smacked Joseph right in the middle of the forehead.

“Ouch!” Joseph hollered, rubbing snow from his face. “Ouch! That hurt! What did you do that for?”

Mac turned around and ran for her house. She banged through the back door.

“What in the world is the matter?” Mom asked.

Dad looked up at her over the top of the morning paper.

Mac gasped. Hot tears ran down her face. “Joseph called my snow-woman stupid!” she exclaimed. “Building a snow-woman is not stupid! He’s stupid!” She pulled off her hat and her gloves and threw them on the counter.

Dad laid the paper on the kitchen table and patted his lap.

Mac rushed to him, sat down, and buried her face in his shoulder.

“That was a rather thoughtless thing for Joseph to say,” Dad said, patting Mac’s back.

“I’m never going to play with him again!” Mac said. Her voice was muffled against Dad’s shirt. “If that’s how he feels, I’m never going to play with him again!”

“Good idea!” Dad agreed.

Mac lifted her head and stared at him. “You think so too?” she asked.

“Sure,” Dad said. “It’s probably better never to play with anyone who disagrees with you.”

Mac frowned. “Are you making fun of me?” she asked suspiciously.

“Of course not!” Dad exclaimed. “I’m agreeing with you!”

Mac frowned harder. “It doesn’t sound right when you say it,” she said.

“What?” Dad asked.

“That I should never play with someone who disagrees with me!” Mac answered.

Dad didn’t say anything, but his eyes twinkled.

“Oh, bother!” Mac sighed. She leaned against his shoulder once again. “I know you think I should make up with Joseph! I threw a snowball in his face,” she confessed.

Dad put his arms around her and gave her a hug. “Maybe we should both apologize to Joseph,” he said. “You can apologize for losing your temper, and I can apologize for teaching you to throw so well!”

Mac giggled.

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