True Winter Tales: Today's pick
The Pink Mohair Scarf by Deborah Whelan
Between snowflakes that smear the windows like globs of glue, I strain to see what they're doing. They don't know that I'm watching. A few minutes ago, I heard them creep into the back porch, even though they were almost silent as they rifled through the closet. I have very sharp hearing and eyes in the back of my head. Nothing escapes me.
What were they looking for? They could ring the doorbell and ask for anything. But no: they just had to be sneaky. I should check the porch and see what they've been up to. But by now the snow they carried in on their heavy boots would be melted. No clues except water.
Then I see her: over in the corner of the yard, next to the fence that is sheltered from the devilish north wind by a thick spruce. The snowwoman is wearing my pink scarf, the one I admired for weeks before coughing up the price for pure, lovely, soft mohair, the delicious pink like the underbelly of a conch shell - ethereal, gauzy, spun perfection. How lovely to toss across my shoulders as I ventured out into the gently falling snows of Christmas, I'd thought. I knew red or green would be more festive, but pink is my colour.
But the gently falling snows didn't stop at Christmas. It's the middle of March and it's still falling.
Snowwoman looks smug. And carefree. Her scarf - my scarf - billows like a sunset cloud and more snowflakes dance around it. Of course she is carefree. She has no worries. She has little people fussing over her, adorning her with pretty trinkets and - wait! Is that my black fur cap on her head? I hate her. She hasn't been trapped in an endless winter of snow days and snow storms and flus and yes, the worst month of PMS in my life. I want to throw snowballs at her and rip my scarf away but the children wouldn't appreciate that. You must give them the openings to be creative and spontaneous. But they could have asked! And why unfurl my pink mohair from the shoulders of my brown Burberry in the closet? There's a parsons bench in the mudroom just brimming with scarves and hats and mittens that they could have used.
I need to rescue my scarf from the wind and the sleet before it becomes a shredded banner wrapped in our neighbour's maple. But they will cry if I do that. I know it. And then they will want to come in. Then they will say, "We're bored! There's nothing to do!" Then they will probably fight.
What price the gift of an hour of peace? One beautiful mohair scarf.
Deborah Whelan is from Mt. Pearl, NL