For days the sun shone and the weather was warm. There was no frost (ice) on the windows in the mornings. All day the icicles (ice) hanging from the side of the roof fell, one piece at a time, with soft smashing and crackling sounds in the snow beneath. The trees shook their wet, black branches and chunks of snow fell down.
When Mary and Laura pressed their noses against the cold glass of the window pane they could see the drip of water from the edge of the roof and the bare branches of the trees. The snow did not glitter; it looked soft and tired. Under the trees were holes in the snow where the ice had fallen. The snow beside the path was shrinking, getting smaller every day.
Then one day Laura saw a patch of bare ground in the yard in front of the house. All day it grew bigger and before night the whole yard was bare mud. Only the icy path was left, the snow along the path, the fence and beside the woodpile.
"Can't I go out to play, Mother?" Laura asked,
and Mother said: "May, Laura."
"May I go out to play?" she asked.
"You may tomorrow," her mother promised.
That night Laura woke up, cold and shivering. The bed-covers felt thin and her nose was icy cold. Her mother was tucking another quilt over her.
"Snuggle close to Mary," her mother said, "and you'll get warm."
In the morning the house was warm from the cooker, but when Laura looked out of the window she saw that the ground was covered with soft, thick snow. All along the branches of the trees the snow was piled like feathers. It lay in piles along the top of the wooden fence and stood up in great, white balls on top of the gate-posts. She knew that she would not be able to play outside.