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It began on a Monday.

It was nearly summer, and in the school classrooms the children waited anxiously to be released, to be able to run out into the sunshine and play in the meadows. The long summer holiday was drawing ever closer; a glorious six weeks when they could all forget about their lessons, their teachers and their textbooks.

There was just one week to go, and they were all fidgeting in their seats. They didn’t want to pay attention; even the most obedient amongst them was throwing longing glances towards the windows, thinking about where they would be going for their holidays.

“Miss!”

The teacher rolled her eyes and looked over her glasses at the child who was waving his hand in the air excitedly.

“Lucas,” she said with a resigned air. “What is it?”

Lucas bounced up and down in his seat and pointed out of the window. “Miss, it’s snowing!”

She laughed. “Lucas, don’t be silly. It doesn’t snow in July. Please get back to your work.”

But it was too late. All of the children were looking out of the window. “Miss, he’s right! It is snowing!”

She took her glasses off and looked out of the window, her jaw dropping in awe. “That’s… not possible…”

Outside, the snow fell thick and fast. Big, soft snowflakes fell and gathered in drifts. The children, unfettered by teachers too astonished to stop them, ran out and giggled as they stuck their tongues out to catch the snow, scooped up great handfuls to form into balls and throw at each other, and fell on their backs to shape angels in the drifts.

In the corner of a classroom, unnoticed, a little girl sat still, staring at her books, alone and as cold as the snow outside.

© Kari Fay

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