Silent weeping. That’s what caught my attention.

Breath in the crisp air. Something to freeze.

She was sitting by the fir-tree. Crisp, crackle! I lit beside her. “Do you know who I am?”

“All hail to you, great king,” said she. Her voice shivered.

“Are you warm, maiden?”

“Quite warm, King Frost.”

I stooped to her. I shot knives and darts. Her breath made flowers on her lips.

“Are you warm, beautiful girl?”

“Quite warm, King Frost.”

I gnashed my teeth. I cracked my fingers. I asked again. I got the same answer every time. Warm, though I could see she was stiff as the tree.

I was touched. I wrapped her in furs, gave her a chest of jewels, and the good life she deserved.

King Frost in The Story of King Frost, Yellow Fairy Book. Illustration by H.J. Ford.

frost