farewells of the year’s first frost


The green things lay covered with fuzzy white frost. Not a bee buzzed in the silent morning, and the smell of wood smoke lingered in the valley.

“I guess that’s that, then,” said the garden gnome, packing up his tools. He double-checked to make sure the asparagus had a thick blanket of fallen leaves and straw to keep it warm through the winter. Then he tucked a few frost sweetened carrots into his backpack for the journey.

He tipped his hat to the nearby house, smoke curling from its chimney. “See you in spring,” he said in a gruff voice, and set off for his winter home, deep in the forest and far beneath the earth where the cold couldn’t reach.


frost stories

As she slept, the cold whispered stories who painted themselves all over the windows of her home. When she rose the next morning, she stared at the images, certain that she knew them. She could almost retrieve the memory before the sun reached the window and burnt them all away, but not quite.


(images and words copyrighted by Jennifer Shelby)