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“Let me get this straight,” said Pixie. “Figgy bet Nim he could eat more chocolate covered coffee beans and lost because he didn’t actually know what chocolate covered coffee beans were?”
“That’s the long and short of it,” said Lil as she tried not to laugh. “Figgy started retching almost immediately, and Nim had to rush him to Nurse Carmello for emergency treatment.”
“Oh no,” said Pixie, aghast. “Not…The Salt Cleanse?”
“Yep. The only thing that will work on a case such as his.”
Lil shook her head, giggling. “You should have seen Figgy’s face after he put that coffee bean in his mouth!”
Lil took a deep breath and wiped her eyes. “So, what do we have for tonight? I’m excited to be filling in for Figgy.”
“I’m afraid this might be a difficult one. Poor Trixie isn’t feeling well so we have the Talbot house tonight.”
“Poor thing! What happened?”
“Well, Tinker told her a hilarious joke and she laughed so hard she broke her funny bone.”
“Geez. What was the joke?”
Pixie rolled her eyes. “What do snowmen eat for dessert?”
Lil looked momentarily surprised.
“Not very funny, I know,” said Pixie.
Lil shook her head. “What is her child’s name?”
“Loren.” Pixie consulted the file. “She’s 8 years old and…this can’t be right. She’s afraid of…snow.”
Lil, taken aback, let out a sound somewhere between a snort and a gasp. “How can a child be afraid of snow?”
“I don’t know,” Pixie shrugged. “Come on, lets go see what we can find out.”
Pixie and Lil flew out across shining lakes and snowy forests. They arrived at the Talbots and landed on the dark and cold porch.
“It’s so beautiful here,” said Pixie. “Look at all this sparkling snow.”
“It’s almost as pretty as the North Pole,” agreed Lil.
Pixie’s eyes roamed around the landscape, taking in the beauty of the snow covered trees.
“Let’s go inside,” said Lil. “I think I hear something.”
“Darling, can’t you just try to go outside tomorrow and build snowmen with your cousin?”
“No, mama. It’s too cold and all that white snow,” Loren shivered. “I don’t like it.”
“Sweet girl, I wish you weren’t afraid of snow.”
She kissed Loren goodnight and quietly left the room, flipping off the light switch.
Pixie and Lil glanced at each other, unsure of how to proceed. Afraid of snow? They’d never run into that before.
“Figgy would know exactly what to do in this situation,” said Pixie.
“Oh yes, he’d just snap his fingers and say ‘All we need to do is bring her her favorite cookie and everything will work out.”
“I don’t think a cookie will work here, Pixie.”
“No, you are probably right.”
“But…what could work is bringing the snow inside to Loren.”
Pixie looked at Lil in concern. “But Lil, snow needs cold. It will melt if we bring it in.”
“Not the kind of snow I’m thinking of. Come on, I’m sure they have a bunch of them stashed away somewhere here.”
“A bunch of what?” asked Pixie. But Lil had already zipped out of the room and up the stairs.
“Where are you going, Lil??
“To find supplies!” Lil called over her shoulder.
When Pixie finally tracked her down, Lil was trying to lug a large bag of jumbo cotton balls out of the bathroom. “Found them!”
Pixie eyed the cotton balls and, frankly, thought Lil may have had one too many hot cocoas at the debriefing. Lil quickly explained.
“One of us is going to be a snowman, er elf. A snowelf!”
“How are we…”.
“The other one will be a regular elf who built the snowelf.”
“What are you…”.
“And we will show Loren that snowelves are nice and fun!”
“And, by association, snow is nice and fun,” finished Lil, a huge grin on her tiny face.
Pixie looked at Lil, then at the cottonballs
“Oh-Kaay,” said Pixie. “But how are we going to decide which of us is the…snowelf?”
“Rock, Paper, Snowball of course!”