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Here's a curiosity for you, a little story I wrote way back in 10th grade. The title was “Snow”.

A man is trudging through the snow. His boots keep out the snow around his feet, as they are waterproof, but they do not keep out the cold. He wears long, ash-grey woolen pants, tucked into his boots. His large tan coat covers his waist, and his gloveless hands are tucked into the pockets. His woolen hat, a deep navy blue in color, does not quite cover his ears. The man is cold, although he has been inured to it by the long walk. Instead of pondering his coldness, he observes the forest he walks through and the road he walks by. The road is covered with slush everywhere except where a stray car has passed, leaving a path of icy gravel, for the road is old and made of gravel. As for the forest, he watches the trees, with snow balanced delicately on each branch, an icicle sometimes hanging from a branch like a dagger. The grey-white clouds flow slowly about, leaving the sun a hazy yellow disc marooned in a sea of clouds. Around him, the snow dances about and forms into drifts, propelled by the wind. Occasionally, he passes a forest pond or stream in his walking, and then he watches the glistening curves of ice that cover the water, as well as the spots where the ice has eroded and the freezing water bubbles out before diving back under the ice. The rocks seem to have grown snow drifts around them. Searching for animals, he finds only miscellaneous footprints scattered across the snow. Once, he saw the footprints of another traveler in the forest, but he has forgotten them; he is not interested in people. In the forest, serene and quiet, he looks for happiness. He finds it.

I took out one comma and fixed two spelling errors, but otherwise that's how it was. It's not a true story, exactly, but close enough … there was a gravel road that ran from my parents' house alongside a creek and up into some woods, and as a matter of fact I did have a tan coat I was very fond of.

One thing that strikes me now is that I didn't say what kind of tree I meant. The idea probably never even crossed my mind … I had no experience with anything except pine forest, so of course the trees were pine, what else would they be? But, strangely, now that I have a bit more experience, the story seems more like a description of a forest in the Northeast, maybe in Massachusetts.

Now, here's something that will change your whole perception of the story. I wrote it for school; the assignment was to write a descriptive essay, as follows.

Write a description of a scene approximately 300 words in length in which you try to evoke a mood through the appropriate selection of details.

  1. If your description is spatial, [irrelevant].
  2. Appeal to at least three senses (taste, sight, hearing, touch, smell) and label in the margin.
  3. Include one simile, one metaphor, one personification and label in the margin.
  4. Use two interesting color words.

It's funny to go read Winter Wonderland with that assignment in mind. I've never been a fan of metaphor and personification, but the rest is there.


  See Also

  Story of My Room, The

@ November (2005)