Brother Winter

“Who is he?”

Father chuckled, but I knew I must say something, for Ida had asked the question in earnest.

“He isn’t anybody,” I said. “He’s just a snowman.”

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The Traveling Gloves

“Will a ring do? It’s small enough. It won’t be a hindrance.”

“No,” said the queen of the northern kingdom. “It must be something that won’t fall off in battle.” Her maidservant had brought a great many fine things into the chamber for consideration. Rings, diadems, collars. She did not know the queen’s purpose and therefore could not judge what article would be best suited for that purpose.

The northern queen moved to the table of arms. Weapons and armor could be damaged during battle, removed and tossed aside. Helms, shields, swords, lances, breastplates, greaves. The queen considered them all and she rejected them all. But when she reached the gauntlets, she lingered on them.

A glove would do, she thought. A glove for each, underneath the gauntlet.

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