Georgie faces down blizzard at North Pole
Editor’s note: This is the 11th chapter of the 12-part holiday tale “The Snow Elf,” running daily through Christmas morning. Parents are encouraged to read aloud to their children.
Getting shrunk down, packed up and mailed in a sack along with hundreds of envelopes wasn’t quite as bad as Alex had anticipated, but it would never top his list of Fun Things To Do. Penny had transformed the inside of the small box into a cozy sitting area. Well, as cozy as the inside of a box could be; the walls were covered with layers of bubble wrap, and packing peanuts had been pushed together to form seats.
“My tummy feels funny,” Anna complained, curling up on one of the packing peanut couches.
Georgie nodded, sitting back against the cushioned wall. “Getting shrunk does take a bit of time to get used to — it’s quite a funny feeling. Luckily, we won’t be like this long. We should be at the North Pole very soon.”
Anna just frowned and Alex looked at the bubble wrap surrounding them. They were so tiny that the air bubbles were almost as big as their heads, and he grinned.
“Hey Anna, watch this.” He sat down hard on an air bubble, and it popped loudly. Anna giggled, and Alex did it again. Georgie joined in, standing up and pressing his behind into the wall.
They all laughed as they hopped around the room, popping the bubble wrap. Then the room jolted, and all three fell over onto the soft floor.
“Oof,” Georgie said. His breath came out as a puff of white air, and Anna wrapped her arms around herself as she shivered.
“Brr,” she said, teeth chattering. “It’s freezing.”
Georgie nodded, his smile wide and his eyes bright. “Of course it is. That means we’ve arrived. I’m home! We made it to the North Pole!”
Alex’s stomach rolled, and he closed his eyes against the sudden feeling of a tornado whipping them through the air. A moment later, he lay face-down in a pile of soft, fluffy snow.
“Oh no, Georgie,” he heard Anna say, and he pushed himself up and brushed off the snow from his face.
“What’s wrong?” he asked, turning in a circle and taking in his surroundings. All he could see was snow, and what had to be hundreds of snow-covered mail sacks piled up against an even bigger snow pile.
“This is the Mail Center,” Georgie said glumly, gesturing to the big pile of snow. “At least, it’s somewhere under there.”
“So the North Pole really IS buried under snow,” Anna cried. “Georgie, can you fix it?”
Georgie took a deep breath, studying the snow still falling from the gray sky. Slowly, he nodded. “I think so. It appears that the other elves have managed to slow the snowfall.”
“Follow me,” he said, making his way through the deep snow. “I need to get to the center of Elf Village, where the heart of the storm is.”
As they trudged through the snow, they passed dozens of unidentifiable snow-covered lumps. Under some, the faint glow of colored lights was just barely visible. They passed a few elves along the way, all with their heads down braced against the constant snowfall.
“Here we are.” Georgie stopped next to a giant Christmas tree among the snow-covered lumps and took a deep breath.
Anna took his hand and squeezed. “I believe in you, Georgie. You did it once, you can do it again.”
The elf nodded and held out his arm. With a twist of his hand, he produced an empty snow globe. Just as he’d done in Anna’s room, he spoke softly as he stretched out his arms and curled his fingers into fists. The snow stopped in midair, like someone had hit pause on a video, and then all fell to the ground. The sky cleared, turning a brilliant bright blue, and as the snow globe filled, the snow on the ground receded to a manageable level.
Anna and Alex looked at each other, then at the beautiful, quaint Elf Village that surrounded them. The tree next to them sparkled with thousands of colorful lights and bulbs, and dozens of small cottages and stores lined the Village center, all decorated with wreaths and ribbons and lights.
“You did it, Georgie!” Anna exclaimed, giving the elf a big hug. “You saved the North Pole!”
“The Snow Elf” concludes tomorrow, Christmas Day, with Chapter 12.