Collection 1

March 27, 2017

Arty from the Arctic

The snowman stood there, glistening in the pale sunlight. This was a masterpiece, this snowman. Uncle George had helped them. Benny gave it a final pat and stood back to inspect their work.

“This is the best snowman we ever made,” he said, clapping the snow off his gloves.

“You know, I think it really is,” said David. “What shall we call him this year?”

“Frosty,” yelled little Susie.

“We want something a bit more original than that,” replied David. “Now let me think.”

“I know, Arctic. Yes, Arty from the Arctic,” said Benny.

“Oh yes,” squealed Susie. “That’s a lovely name for him, Mr. Arty Arctic.”

“I hereby christen you Arty from the Arctic. There, it’s official now,” declared David.

Benny stood staring at the snowman. It really was a superb job they’d done this year. No lumps and bumps, no melty bits. Yes, Arty was a fine specimen of snowman.

“I don’t want to leave him there,” he thought, and imagined a group of bigger children coming and merrily knocking poor Arty down. Benny just couldn’t bear the idea of it and turned his head away from the imaginary scene ... and there, a little way down the hill was the answer.

“Oh look, Uncle George,” he shouted. “Look.” He could hardly contain his joy at the idea that had popped into his head. Struggling up the hill were two boys with a huge sled dragging behind them.

“We could put Arty on the sled and take him home,” cried Benny.

Everyone turned to see what Benny was looking at, and when they saw the sled and heard Benny’s suggestion, they all shrieked their approval.

“Oh, Benny you are so clever,” shrilled Susie, jumping up and down in excitement.

“Wait a minute, boys,” Uncle George yelled above the cheering. “This is the craziest idea I ever heard, taking a snowman home, indeed.”

But Benny had already run down the hill to meet the two boys and ask for their help. Soon the three boys were pulling the sled up to the snowman.

“Well, well, well,” said Uncle George, scratching his head in amazement. “What will your mother have to say?”

Uncle George was a good egg though and Benny knew that he would help them. Uncle George picked up his shovel and started digging and slicing underneath until Arty was finally loosened, then he wrapped his huge arms around the snowman, braced himself, and with a loud grunt, heaved him squarely onto the sled.

“Hooray,” the children shouted. “Good old Uncle George.”
They set off for home, Uncle George pulling the sled and the children carefully guarding their precious snowman to make sure he didn’t fall off.

They stood Arty right next to the front porch, for all to see and admire. Arty from the Arctic stood there, glistening and winking in the sunlight all winter through, until one morning, Benny leaned out of his bedroom window and found Arty gone.

“Back to the Arctic I suppose,” thought Benny, “with all the other winter snowmen. Hope we see you again next year!”
(by Julie C. Kuklevsky; illustrated by John Solarz; Child's Way magazine, January-February 1983)