There was no sign of it in the morning. Even before the sun
was out, there was frost in the atmosphere and it was freezing. But it was
expected to stay dry. It was in the midst of winter, however, and snow was
always a possibility.
Not even a half hour had passed when the first snowflake hit
The Chihuahua inside the warm vehicle got excited. As if it
had understood the magic that was happening. It began to hop on the seat,
stretching out its little tongue as if to lick the snowflakes that began to
mount on the glass in front of it.
The driver next to the small dog was smiling. Not only
because of the white scenery that began to spread rapidly now; but mainly due
to the unexpected reaction from his four-legged friend.
When the road began to become more slippery, they slowed
down. Caution was required.
That was when the little dog pinned its eyes outside a
certain spot on the window and began to bark. Its tail was elongated like a
The driver stopped and got outside.
The snow was even denser now. You could almost feel it
falling on you. The Chihuahua managed to slip outside just before the car door
There in front of them, near some snow-covered bushes was a
furry bagel-like-circle. You could barely make out its pointy ears and fluffy
tail. The snowflakes had almost engulfed it.
The dog’s owner approached cautiously and extended his hand.
The fox opened its eyes. It didn’t move. Perhaps it was too scared. Or perhaps
it was too numb from the cold. Its piercing blue-green eyes almost begged for
The driver picked it up without breaking the circle it had
sat in. Inside the warmth of the car, the fox fluffed up its fur and almost
appeared to smile.
The Chihuahua was happy. It didn’t want to be enjoying the
luxury of a refuge when some other co-animal was freezing outside. Just because
you’re safe, doesn’t mean everyone else is too.
When Grandpa got up with the rising sun, he did not expect
that the front door wouldn’t open. Neither the back. He knew it was going to be
a difficult day. But for some, it would be exactly the opposite.
He tip-toed into Jenny’s room and gently shook her to waken
her from dreamland. She half-opened her eyes and stretched every inch of her small
“Good morning, Grandpa,”
“There’s a surprise
outside your window,” he smiled.
She jumped out of bed and looked outside.
Everything was white. An impeccable white blanket had
covered everything as far as she could see. It was snowing all night and it
continued to do so now. They were snowed in.
Grandpa was concerned because they were somewhat isolated in
the village and their resources were scarce. He was planning to go into town today,
had the weather permitted it. But few things in life usually go according to
Jenny was excited; she was jumping up and down and rushing
to put on warm clothes in order to run outside. It was freezing, but enthusiasm
always keeps you warm.
“Come on Grandpa, let’s
go build a snowman!” she called as she tried to open the door.
The old man used a shovel, back-aching and almost sweating
in the sub-zero temperatures, striving to open the door.
When he succeeded the little girl ran outside and dived into
There wasn’t much he could do anyway. He just had to wait
for assistance. So they might as well have some fun in the meantime.
Snow beautifies everything. It is nature’s magic that fills
your soul with wonder.
It was always on the table. Ever since it was set there in a
ceremonial style by the two of them.
No matter what happened after that, the fights, the
disagreements, the shouting, the heartbreaks, it was there. Left there as a
constant reminder of the good times.
Because the bad tempers would pass. And the light would be
The glass jar of coloured papers represented exactly that. The
positivity of our lives. The need to realise that it is not all black and
white. That there is colour. The one we create and we are responsible for
It was snowing when he set foot outdoors. If it was up to
him, he wouldn’t have, but his mother forced him to go out in search of the
required groceries for lunch. He was the sort of person who always found
excuses not to do something. He would constantly say he wanted to but it was simply not possible because of a series of pretexts
he would cough up at the moment.
Procrastinating was Tommy’s expertise. But as he matured, he
found that there were things you could simply not postpone. And the less you
did, the more reliable you would become and the better status you would obtain
as a person and as a character.
But the most memorable lesson, he learnt in a cabin in the
woods that day he went off-track.
It was a wooden cabin below the snowy mountains. Adjacent
was a lake in which two magnificent swans were found. It seemed almost mythical.
He approached in hope it would offer solace from the extreme cold.
Above the front door there was a sign that read “When there’s a will there’s a way, when
there’s none there’s delay”. He
knocked on the door and waited. Then he knocked again. There was no response.
After a while, as his hands began to turn numb from the
cold, he decided to search for a back door.
There was one with an “entry”
Inside was a carpenter. One of the type he had only read
about in storybooks.
“It took you long
enough,” he told Tommy as he led him to a seat near the blaring fireplace
and offered him a cup of steaming hot tea.
“Had you figured out
the meaning of the sign sooner, your hands wouldn’t have turned so pale from
the frostbite,” the carpenter explained.
“Simply stating your
desire or intention to do something does not make it real. It’s when you act
upon it that it happens. And that is what matters. Because others can’t see
your intentions, they can only judge you by your actions”.
Tommy was beginning to understand. This meeting was not by
chance. In fact, he had never seen this cabin in this part of the valley
“Stop denying the fact
that you’re delaying things. Or simply not doing them. The time to act is now,
not later. You don’t know what will happen later on. If you can do something
now, why are you waiting? What for? There is always time to do something
important. To show others you care. If
you can act, and if you’re going to use your intention in your defence later
on, why procrastinate? If it is significant, you do it. That is what others
will see. And what matters most, is what you show”.
Tommy drank his last sip and was ready to leave.
There was nothing he could say. After all, this meeting was
not for him to speak, but to listen.
“Character is built on
the strength of your actions”, he heard the carpenter say as he waved him
He hadn’t been around for days now and Mrs Claus was getting worried. He was the smallest of the litter, although the feistiest one and,truth be told, he was her favourite.
But it was three days now that he had not shown up, not even during feeding times. She had asked his mother and brothers, but would only get a vague reply from his sister. She was probably just asking for more food.
She looked everywhere for him. In the toy factory, in the elves’ dorms, in the sleigh, in the kitchen, in the cupboards, in the sweet shops, everywhere. He was nowhere to be seen. And the worse part was that no-one else had seen him either.
Mrs Claus decided she had to call for reinforcements.
So she told Santa that her favourite kitten had gone missing.
“What if he’s been catnapped? He was the cutest of the lot,” she said in despair.
“No, no, he is around here somewhere,” Santa tried to reassure her.
They called out his name, rang bells and food plates, but nothing.
They even asked the reindeer, but to no avail.
As snow began to fall heavier outside, Mrs Santa became all the more worried that he was somewhere alone and cold.
But then, just as it happens with all things you look too hard for and then you find them when you stop searching – the little cat appeared on its own.
It was Santa who first spotted him when he saw his toy bag juddering on the sleigh. He knew it was not any of the toy robots, because they had no batteries installed. As he raised the opening of the bag slightly to peek inside, he saw two bright eyes staring back at him. They were accompanied by a faint “meow”. One that Mrs Claus heard, however, and rushed over just in time to see the little lion walk merrily out of the bag, unaware of all the commotion he had caused.
Sometimes it’s the smallest things that cause your heart to skip a few beats. It is only then that you acknowledge their importance.
This was her favourite time of year. Not because of the festive holiday season and the magic that spread everywhere, but because she loved the feeling of snuggling up somewhere warm with a hot beverage and good company.
He shared the feeling. Because it reminded him of how wonderful it was to feel like a child again. To be excited with the little things, to play without caring what others thought, and to rekindle his lust for life.
She brought that out in him. She made him happy.
And he made her forget everything that bothered her. He turned her negative obsessions to positive aspirations.
That night of a new moon, he took her hand and led her to a Christmas market. There were jingles in the air, the smell of roasting chestnuts, happy cheers and lots and lots of bright lights.
And in the midst of it all was that magical place.
He helped her onto a plastic almost life-size horse and his eyes sparkled as he saw her smile lighting up her entire face. Her eyes were two diamonds in the night. And he knew he was simply lucky to be there.
It is the people who rekindle that feeling of being a child who are most deserved to be loved by you. Because they remind you of that lost innocence and of that bewilderment at every single thing in life. Witness things as a miracle and you have found happiness.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl
He was nicknamed “The Monster”. He had the look to support it. He was tall, dark with hair that covered his neck and a beard that hid his face. His eyes reflected his own resignation with the world.
He preferred not to socialise as much as possible. And for that reason he usually only briefly left his house during nights or moments when he knew everyone else was away. He wanted to avoid social contact. He would much rather endure loneliness than the criticism he was bound to hear from others.
People judge from what they see. We all fall into stereotypes and prejudices. People don’t understand what is beyond appearances.What forces people to become what they are or to act in the way they do.
No existence is all roses and sunshine. Dark clouds do come along. There are moments and circumstances, people and behaviours, attitudes and perspectives that force us to react, to erupt, to lose control. It takes a lot for a silent stream to become a raging current. But when that boost arrives, the flush is torrential and it carries with it everything that person has for so long suppressed. It takes a lot of strength to feign that everything is fine. To pretend things are OK when they’re not. To hide all the pain from everyone else. But what hurts most is when the people near you don’t understand. When they do not react to your call. When you explain the things that cause these scathing wounds, that have for so long been a problem, and yet they still don’t comprehend the severity of it all. Or they simply do nothing. If you care you act; you place what you value most above all else. Sometimes, it is our own expectations that cause us the most disappointment. Because not everyone possesses that same open-heartedness, nor the same perspective on things. It is such situations that bring out the worst in someone. That feeling of being under-appreciated, misunderstood and wronged. That others are given more importance than you. That no matter how hard you try, you can’t get through.
It is situations that create our character. That will define whether the monster or the angel within us will dominate. But they are also the ones that cause us to react the way we do.
Not all people are monsters. Some just carry a monster inside.
That autumn day, just when the train was following its tracks under the tunnel into the mountain, with the crispy leaves brushing against the half-open windows, is exactly when she realised her life had changed.
They were playing card games in an almost empty wagon. Their laughter echoed in the wooden cabin. It was the sound of sincere joy.
She was gleaming all over. His eyes reflected her happiness.
That innocent pure love of life that belonged to a child. He made her happy.
It was then she realised she was in love. And that would inevitably change her forever.
He realised something was happening when the bright seasonal decorations began to appear, first on the main door, then the lights on the window. Suddenly the night appeared to light up. There was colour pouring out of every corner of the building.
The snow made it evident winter had come. But that too was part of the season. You had to feel it was winter.
He didn’t care it was this cold. He was used to it anyway. It was freezing when he arrived a year ago. One year had already past. And now he was ready to celebrate a birthday. One that happened to coincide with the most wonderful time of the year.
He disliked the fact that people bypassed his own celebrations and he had to deal with the fact that every one was celebrating these days. He wanted to feel special. To have a day devoted to him. To have a day that was his very own.
Those who cared would make it so.
After all that is what family and friends are for.
Even if you are simply a kitten.
You still deserve to have something unique, especially for you.