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The Snow Queen.


 He woke to find himself in, or on, a world, which, he did not know. He thought there might be other worlds like this one, but was not certain. Very, very gradually he became aware of the mirror and when he looked in it he saw has own eyes looking back at him. Then he saw his mouth and, for the first time, felt his breath and realised that it would be with this that he might change his world. He was not sure how this could be until he noticed that as he breathed towards the mirror, the images danced and shimmered. Then he blew more strongly and the mirror ballooned away until bubbles started to break off and float away. Most of these bubbles were small and fell to the ground very quickly, but some were bigger and floated in the sky for a long time before settling. Some burst while they were still in the air, but most floated gently down and burst just as they made contact, although a few lasted quite a long time after they had come to rest. To him the bubbles were beautiful and when he found out how to make them dance and soar, he laughed aloud, because he knew that each was like a mirror to itself. He also knew that although all were made in the same way and that the source was endless each one was different. Some shone with rainbow colours and some did not. Some shared in his joy and soared when he laughed and others were driven downwards, away from the light.

 So it came about that two children were born, a girl and then a boy. A sister with her little brother. She was called Karen and his name was Kaye, but they were different. As Karen entered the world around her she saw shining blue eyes that looked both caring and anxious in turn. Every day they grew more and more distinct. They she saw that they were surrounded by fair and beautiful hair and below them a soft red mouth that smiled white and made the whole seem to be lit by sunlight. Both the eyes and the mouth talked to her continuously in a language that was both clear and simple so that although she did not really understand it, she was never frightened. For Kaye it was different. He never saw the eyes, only the mouth. It was as though he himself were blind. He knew that the mouth had a language, but he could not understand it and he did not know whether he was safe or threatened. However he did gradually learn one thing, that Karen was his friend. She, on the other had was saddened by Kaye. He seemed to be in a prison with no walls or door, but from which he could not escape. She wanted more than anything else to see him run in the open air and feel the freedom that other children knew and each day she hoped that the change would happen. Still they played together. She taught him new games and once had had learned one he would play it endlessly, whilst she soon tired and wanted to do something new.

 Winter came, and as it was in a northern country, first there was rain and long dark days, then frosts arrived with clear brittle skies. Then the smell of snow was in the air and snow flakes started to swirl down . The children looked out through the window as long as they could. Next morning they woke to bright day and remembered the snow. Now the sun was shining from a clear sky. Kaye was frightened and confused by all this, but also excited in a way that was quite new. Karen was unable to stay still while her mother dressed her in warm pullovers, a scarf, gloves and beautiful fur-lined boots. They were to take their sledge to the hill overlooking the village where other children were already laughing and shouting. Tobogganing down the hill and, more often than not ending up in a deep snowdrift. Karen and Kaye played among the others until they started to feel cold. Karen planned to go home and warm her feet, before coming out again. Kaye was not sure. He liked the new game, but he was confused by all of the other children and the strangeness of the landscape.