THE SNOW MAN
C. S. B. Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen.
 THE Snow Man stood very stiff and straight in the
garden. He had two triangular pieces of tile in his
head instead of eyes. His mouth was made of an old
rake, so he had some very fine teeth. He had been born
amid the happy shouts of little boys, and welcomed by
the merry sound of sleigh bells and the snap of whips.
"It is so wonderfully cold that my whole body
crackles," said the Snow Man. "This is the kind of
weather to blow life into one. How the gleaming one, up
yonder, is staring at me!"
(It was the sun he meant, which was just about to set.)
"He shall not make me wink. I shall manage to keep the
The sun went down and the moon rose clear and beautiful
in the blue sky.
"If I only knew how to move from this place I should
like so much to go," sighed the Snow Man. "If I could,
I would slide along on the ice with the boys; but I
don't understand sliding—I don't know how to run."
"Bow, wow," barked the Yard Dog, "the sun will teach
you to run. It will come some morning, and it will
make you run down into the ditch by the wall. We shall
soon have a change in the weather. I feel it in my
The weather really changed a little. Toward morning
there was a thick fog over all the garden. Then came
an icy wind, and when the sun rose—oh, was it
beautiful? The branches were covered with hoar frost,
and they glistened like diamonds. Where the sun shone
it looked as if big diamonds had been dropped upon the
snowy carpet of earth.
"Bow, wow," barked the Yard Dog, creeping out of his
kennel; "a fine morning."
"The cold is charming," said the Snow Man. "Tell me,
did you always lie out here in the cold, fastened to a
"Bow, wow; no, indeed," barked the Yard Dog. "I used
to lie in a chair covered with velvet up in master's
house. From where you are standing you can see into
the room. I had my own cushion, and there was a stove
there—the finest thing in the world in cold weather. I
went under the stove, and I could lie beneath it. Oh,
I still sometimes dream of that stove. Bow, wow!"
"Does a stove look anything like me?" asked the Snow
"It's quite different," said the Dog. "It's black as a
crow, with a long neck and a brazen drum. It eats
firewood, and the fire spurts out of its mouth. You
can see the stove through the window there."
And the Snow Man looked and saw a bright polished thing
with a brazen drum and the fire gleaming from the lower
part of it. The Snow Man felt strangely and his teeth
"Why did you leave her?" he asked, for he thought the
stove must surely be a lady.
"I was obliged to go," said the Yard Dog. "I bit the
youngest master because he kicked my bone. That was
the end of the matter. They chained me up out here.
But the Snow Man was looking in the window, and
 he did not hear the Yard Dog. He was looking at the stove
standing there on its four iron legs.
"I want to go in and lean against her," he said, "if I
have to break the window!"
"You'll never get in there," said the Yard Dog. "If you
go near her, you'll break up."
"I'm nearly gone now," said the Snow Man.
The whole day the Snow Man stood peering in through the
window. Toward night the stove looked pleasanter than
ever, for it had been given some wood to eat. The red
light shone out of the window and straight into the
Snow Man's face.
"Oh," he said, "how beautiful she looks when she
stretches out her tongue!"
Before long, though, the windows were covered with
frost. There were the most wonderful snow flowers any
snow man could want, but the Snow Man was unhappy. He
could no longer see the stove.
In the morning the weather had changed a great deal. It
began to thaw, and the warmer it grew the smaller grew
the Snow Man. At last he broke down; and, behold!
Where he had stood there was something like a
broomstick standing up in the ground. It was the pole
about which the boys had built him.
"I wonder why he liked the stove so much," said the
Yard Dog, looking
at the pool of water which lay where
the Snow Man had stood; but he saw directly. There was
a coal shovel fastened to the broomstick, and that had
been the Snow Man's head. The Snow Man had a stove
rake in his body, too.
"I see," said the Yard Dog. "Bow, wow!"
And nobody thought any more about the Snow Man.