Elf battles blizzard with globe

Editor’s note: This is the fourth chapter of the 12-part holiday tale “The Snow Elf,” running daily through Christmas morning. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to their children.

Chapter 4

Georgie Glitterfrost paced in a circle. “So there I was, trapped in my own snow globe while the snow continued to fall. I had no way to fix the mess I’d created. It’s hard to undo elf magic — the others may have slowed it but not stopped it. And that means that the North Pole could very well be buried.”

“Oh, no,” Anna cried. “Are Santa and all the elves OK? What will happen to Christmas?”

Georgie looked at her sadly. “I just don’t know. I must get back to the North Pole and make sure I fix this horrible mess.”

“We’ll help you.” Anna looked at Alex. “Right, Alex?”

Alex nodded slowly, still not totally sure he believed everything he’d just heard. “Uh, sure. Yeah, we’ll help.”

His eyes narrowed as he studied Georgie. “But I’m wondering — if you zapped yourself into a snow globe and the North Pole is buried under snow, how exactly did you wind up in that thrift store?”

“That was an accident,” Georgie admitted. “You see, I collect snow globes. And I meant to have the magical globe placed with the rest of my collection, but in my panic during the mayhem, it must have ended up inside a box of things Mrs. Claus was sending off to be donated.”

Alex raised his eyebrows. “And breaking the globe freed you?”

Georgie nodded. “Yes, breaking the globe is the only way to release the magic.”

Alex, Georgie and Anna all seemed to realize the same thing at the same time. They rushed to the window and Alex pushed aside the frilly yellow curtains.

“Oh, dear,” Georgie said.

Outside, snow was whirling wildly through the air, covering the world below in a thick, fluffy blanket of glittering white. Alex’s car was almost unrecognizable as a snow-covered lump in the driveway.

“ALL of the magic was released,” Georgie fretted. He pushed up his sleeves and motioned for Alex and Anna to move back. “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of this.”

“Whoa, wait a second.” Alex heard the doubt underneath Georgie’s confident tone, and the last thing they needed was for the elf to make matters worse. “Let’s not jump into anything. We can figure out a solution together.”

Georgie shook his head. “No, there isn’t time. I have to fix this, or the snow will never stop.”

Anna tilted her head, looking at Georgie. She tugged Alex’s sleeve, pulling him down to her level. “I think we should let him try,” she whispered.

Alex frowned. “He couldn’t fix it the first time, who’s to say he won’t just make it worse?”

“We have to let him try,” she insisted. “He needs to know we believe in him.”

As he looked into his little sister’s earnest, hopeful face, Alex didn’t have the heart to tell her that he did not, in fact, believe in him. Not at all. But he shrugged and waved for the elf to go ahead.

“I know you can do it, Georgie,” Anna said. “You can fix it!”

Georgie cleared his throat and closed his eyes in concentration. Anna squeezed her brother’s hand, and they watched the elf flick his wrist and produce another snow globe, this one empty.

He set it on the window sill and looked at the storm raging outside. Muttering to himself, he slowly stretched out his arms, then curled his fingers into fists. As the globe began to fill with silver flakes, the snow outside abruptly stopped and the sun shined bright in a suddenly clear sky.

Georgie’s hands shook slightly as he placed the snow globe on Anna’s bookshelf. He wiggled his fingers, adding an extra protective layer of magic around the globe to make sure it never broke. When he looked up at Anna with a grin, his eyes twinkled. “It worked! It really worked!”

Anna laughed and knelt down, giving the elf a tight hug. “I knew you could do it, Georgie.”

He pulled away, his face falling. “I might have fixed the storm here but I need to get back to the North Pole. I have to make sure that Santa and all the others are OK. If the North Pole is buried in snow, I’m afraid Christmas could be ruined.”

“The Snow Elf” continues tomorrow with Chapter 5.