Nothing looked beautiful to me anymore. Everything I looked at was flawed! I only liked snowflakes. They were perfect and regular.
Then one day I got caught in a snow storm, and a great lady drove up to me in her sled. Her fur and cap were made of ice, and she shone brilliantly white. When I sat beside her, she kissed me and I went completely cold. I forgot everything. We flew over the land, over woods and lakes, over seas and valleys. The storm blew, the wolves howled, the snow crackled, and the crows swarmed. Then it was silent. There was nobody but me in the white halls of the Snow Queen. I sat on a broken lake of ice and she told me to fit the pieces together to spell out the word “eternity.”
She promised me the whole world if I could do it, plus a pair of skates.
Kay in The Snow Queen, Hans Christian Andersen. Illustration by Adrienne Segur.