The snow kept falling on the house. Big piles of snow were blown by the wind partly covering the little wooden log house where Laura's family lived. In the mornings the glass window panes were covered with frost in beautiful pictures of trees and flowers and fairies. Frost is a very thin layer of ice covering everything. (Frost crystals on glass often form very pretty patterns. It is easy to imagine pictures of trees and flowers and fairies.)
Mother said that a magic fairy, called Jack Frost, came in the night and made the pictures. He did this while everyone was asleep. Laura thought that Jack Frost was a little man wearing a pretty glittering white pointed cap and soft white knee-high boots made of deer-skin. His coat was white and his mittens (hand warmers) were white. He did not carry a gun on his back. In his hands he had shining sharp tools with which he carved the pictures.
Laura and Mary were allowed to take their mother's thimble and made pretty patterns of circles in the frost on the glass. Mother used the thimble when she sewed their clothes; it was a very small metal cup that protected the end of her finger. Whatever they drew, the two sisters never spoiled the pictures that Jack Frost had made in the night.
When they put their mouths close to the glass window and blew their breath on it, the white frost melted and ran in drops down the glass. Then they could see the drifts of snow outdoors and the great trees standing bare and black, making thin blue shadows on the white snow.
The Little House in the Big Woods
Chapter 1 - Part 1: Introduction
Chapter 1 - Part 2: Wolves in the Night
Chapter 1 - Part 4: Smoked Meat
Chapter 1 - Part 5: Food for Winter
Chapter 1 - Part 6: Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 7: After Butchering Time
Chapter 1 - Part 9: Winter Night
Chapter 1 - Part 10: About the Author & Where to Find the Book
Chapter 2 - Part 1: Winter Days and Winter Nights
Chapter 2 - Part 2: Jack Frost
Chapter 2 - Part 3: Laura and Mary Helped Mother with the Housework
Chapter 2 - Part 4: Churn on Thursday
Chapter 2 - Part 5: The Best Time of All
Chapter 2 - Part 6: Her Father Began to Play his Fiddle and Sing
Chapter 2 - Part 7: Father Told Stories
Chapter 2 - Part 8 - The Story of Grandfather and the Panther
by John Larrysson
A native English speaker who has been teaching practical English in Hong Kong for more than a decade.