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The Winter

            The winter day, as if to mourn the death of summer, was gray and sullen. The trees, once gay in their multicolored autumn coats, stood barren, as grotesque, twisted forms, stark against the ashen sky, and the last flowers of summer hung their heads in limp resignation, the frost having long since stolen their wills to live. Brown, brittle mats, that cracked and crunched with every step, replaced the lush green carpets of grass that lead to every house. Everything was so dull, so lifeless; no souls ventured beyond the warm security of their abodes; no creature stirred in the cold, vacant streets. Then quietly, almost imperceptibly, snowflakes, large and fluffy like feathery down, began floating earthward, transforming the bleak and barren landscape and the mood. As the snowfall intensified, the once harsh landscape became cloaked in a thick mantle of pure white snow. Like a delicate velvety fabric, it draped the grotesque, angular limbs of the trees, converting them into grace!.
             ful, arching projections, like the arms of a model extended in a perpetual pose, awaiting a nonexistent photographer. Only the stately Fir tree had resisted the change in seasons. Standing tall and erect, its sturdy branches bristled with bundles of stiff needles, evergreen, arranged in ever decreasing concentric circles, each fringed in snowy white, until, at the peak a single verdant sprig pointed skyward, capped with a miniature snowdrift. All that was ugly, dead, and brown lay, concealed from view, beneath a thick snowy blanket thrown down by Mother Nature to protect the land during its long winter's sleep. Even the houses had donned their milky nightcaps in preparation for the long winter nights. .
             As if fragments of the pale gray sky were breaking away and falling to earth, snowflakes, each crystal uniquely different from the other and each an intricate, lacy, geometric pattern like the delicate doilies my grandmother used to rocket, fell upon my cold reddened face, clinging tenaciously to my eyelashes so that they felt like huge ostrich-plumed fans with every blink, and melting on my cheeks to form minute silvery droplets of water that tingled refreshingly.

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