Sarah and Samantha

It was winter in the forest where eight year old Samantha and her sixteen year old sister Sarah lived. Winter was Samantha's favorite season because of the crunchy sound the snow made whenever she played in it. One sunny morning in early February, Sarah asked "Would you like me to take you out bouncing today?" Now bouncing was something that Samantha really loved to do, but she loved it more when there was snow on the ground, so of course she said yes.

"All right, but we have to have to have breakfast first." said Sarah. Now this particular morning was fairly cold, so they both had a bowl of warm oatmeal and a glass of milk to start off their day. After they finished, they retreated to the room they shared to get dressed. They changed out of their pajamas and into matching white sweaters, bright pink winter skirts with lovely winter snowflakes on them, their thick white cable knit tights and their black Mary Jane dress shoes. The sweaters were extra warm so that they wouldn't have to wear coats over them and the skirts were a bit longer than normal, starting from the bottom of their sweaters and ending nearly halfway down their legs. They buckled up the straps on their shoes, pulled their hair into ponytails and were about to head out when Sarah remembered one very important piece of clothing that they would need for a cold winter day. She reached into the closet and pulled out two bright red scarves.

"Hold still for a moment." she said. She folded one of the scarves in half and carefully placed it around her sister's neck. She kept the scarf in the front and pulled it through the loop. She made sure to tighten it a bit for extra warmth. When she was finished, the straight line of the scarf was hanging all the way down the middle of Sarah's sweater in the front with the round part fully covering her neck. She then folded the other scarf in half, wrapped it around her own neck and repeated the process.

"Hopefully these aren't too tight." said Sarah. "After all, we have to wear these scarves the whole day."

"Sarah, how come we have to wear skirts whenever we go bouncing?" asked Samantha.

"Because we look nicer that way." said Sarah. "Now let's go." The girls made their way out the door and down the front steps where they found that a light wind was blowing.

"I don't want us to get separated so make sure you stay beside me the whole time." said Sarah.

"I will." promised Samantha.

"Good." said Sarah and they bounced away into the forest. Samantha loved seeing everything covered in blankets full of snow.

"When do you think all of this is going to melt?" she asked.

"Well, it'll be spring in a month or so. I would say that the snow will probably be gone in about four to five weeks." said Sarah.

"That's a pretty long time." said Samantha.

"I know, but look on the bright side. When the warm spring weather does come, we won't have to wear these thick winter sweaters anymore." said Sarah.

"I suppose that's a good thing." said Samantha and they continued bouncing. Their hair bobbed up and down with each bounce they made. A short time later, they came up to a clearing. Samantha loved this particular spot because she and Sarah would often come there and play during the spring and summer seasons. Since it was still the middle of winter, they went right past the clearing and continued to bounce.

"I wonder if the groundhog saw his shadow yesterday." said Samantha.

"I wouldn't know." said Sarah. "There aren't any groundhogs anywhere in this forest."

"There are plenty of other animals that do live here, though." said Samantha. "Our friend Sally comes to mind."

"That's right." said Sarah. "Now that you mention her, I think this would be a perfect opportunity to make a quick visit."

"Sounds like a plan to me." said Samantha and they bounced onward. Sally is a kangaroo who lives in a deeper part of the forest. She acts as a mother figure to both Sarah and Samantha and is always very kind to them. She's a smart kangaroo too, as she knows how to solve any problems the girls have. On this cold winter morning, Sally was busy sweeping away some of the snow that had fallen overnight. It snowed fairly often during the winter season and most times it was usually a decent amount. Last night, however, they had gotten a lot more snow than usual and so that kept Sally pretty busy. She swept away some of the excess, but she was extra careful to not get any of it on her brand new bright blue apron that was wrapped around her pouch. She finished one section and was in the process of sweeping another section when she saw the girls bounce up to her.

"Good morning, Mrs. Sally." said Samantha.

"Good morning, dears." said Sally. "This is nice weather we have today, isn't it?"

"Oh yes. This weather's absolutely beautiful." said Sarah. "I see you're wearing a new apron."

"What happened to your old apron?" asked Samantha.

"I had to get rid of the old one because it was worn out from me wearing it a lot over the years." said Sally as she continued sweeping. "I just got this one in the mail yesterday and so far, I'm quite happy with it."

"That's good." said Sarah.

"So, did you girls see that huge snowfall we had last night?" asked Sally.

"We saw some of it, but then we got tired." said Samantha. "How much snow did we get?"

"We got quite a bit." said Sally. "That's why I have to sweep much more snow than I usually do."

"How long does it take for you to sweep all the snow away?" asked Sarah.

"That depends on how much we get." said Sally. "If we don't get a lot then I don't have to sweep too much and it usually doesn't take that long. But when we get big snowfalls like we did last night, I have to sweep a lot more and it takes much longer."

"We're lucky we don't have to sweep any snow, aren't we, Sarah?" asked Samantha.

"We're extremely lucky." answered Sarah.

"How much more snow do you have to sweep away?" asked Samantha.

"I've still got quite a lot left to go." said Sally. "I would estimate that it'll likely take me the whole morning to finish."

"In that case, I think we should get going and continue with our bouncing." said Sarah. "Let's go, Samantha." The two girls said goodbye to their kangaroo friend and bounced away.

"Do you think we'll get any snow tonight?" asked Samantha.

"That's quite possible." said Sarah. "I don't know if we will, but we could."

"If it does snow tonight, can we watch some of it?" asked Samantha.

"Sure." said Sarah. They bounced onward down the path, and about twenty minutes later, they came up to a section of trees. Samantha wanted to climb one of the trees but Sarah wouldn't let her.

"It's too cold to climb trees right now." said Sarah.

"And yet, it's not too cold to be out bouncing." said Samantha.

"That's different. We can go bouncing any time we want, but we need warm weather for climbing trees and we just don't have that type of weather right now." said Sarah. "I'll tell you what, though. Once spring comes and it gets warmer, we'll come out here and climb some of these trees."

"Do you promise?" said Samantha.

"Yes Samantha, I promise." said Sarah.

"All right." said Samantha and they kept bouncing. As they continued onward, Samantha noticed that there were no clouds to be found anywhere in the sky.

"I think this is the best weather we've had all winter." she said.

"I would definitely agree." said Sarah. "This kind of weather is absolutely perfect for bouncing."

"It's definitely much better than what we had yesterday." said Samantha.

"I'll say." said Sarah. "Yesterday was much too windy."

"I like winter better when there's no wind at all." said Samantha.

"So do I." said Sarah. "A small amount of wind like what we have today is fine, though." They continued bouncing along and about thirty minutes later, they came up to the river. Now the river was usually flowing with steady stream water, but on this day, it was covered up by a frozen sheet of ice. The sight of this got Samantha quite excited.

"Can we go ice skating?" she asked.

"We don't have any skates." said Sarah and so they kept bouncing. A little further onward, they came across another section of trees. These particular trees were a little bigger than the ones they had passed by earlier and that was because they were reserved for the birds that usually lived in the forests as well as their nests. As the girls bounced on, however, Samantha noticed that all of the trees were empty.

"Where are all the birds?" she asked.

"They're away for the winter." said Sarah. "They won't be back until around the beginning of April."

"That's two months away." said Samantha. "I'm not sure if I can wait that long to be able to see the birds again."

"I know that's a bit of a lengthy wait, but it's not like they'll be gone forever." assured Sarah. "Once the birds return, you can see them all you want. What do you think about that?"

"That sounds good to me." said Samantha and the girls continued on their way. They soon made it past the second group of trees and bounced deeper into the forest. Thirty minutes later, they found themselves in a wide open field that was completely covered with snow.

"I don't think I've been in this part of the forest before." said Samantha.

"Yes you have." said Sarah. "We come out here together all the time."

"Not exactly." said Samantha. "There was one day last spring where I wasn't feeling well."

"That's right." said Sarah. "I came out here that myself particular day to get you some flowers."

"I definitely remember that." said Samantha. "You really helped me feel better by giving me those flowers."

"That's part of what big sisters are supposed to do." said Sarah and they bounced onward. Half an hour later, they found themselves in the deepest part of the whole forest. However, something was starting to trouble young Samantha as evidenced by the concerned look she now had on her face. Sarah took notice of this and decided to try and help out.

"Is something wrong?" she asked.

"I'm worried that murder hornets might invade us." said Samantha.

"Don't be silly. Murder hornets don't exist." said Sarah. "Even if they did, there wouldn't be any in this forest. So we have nothing to worry about."

"That's a relief." said Samantha and the girls continued onward. Forty minutes later, Samantha said "I wonder how long we've been out here."

"We've definitely been at this for at this for a few hours." said Sarah. "You're not tired, are you?"

"No, but I'm starting to get hungry." said Samantha.

"Don't worry, there's a rest cabin coming up." said Sarah. "We can take a break there and I can cook us something for lunch. Does that sound good to you?"

"Yes it does." said Samantha. "What are we going to have, though?"

"I haven't figured that out quite yet, but I do have something in mind." said Sarah and they bounced on. They reached the rest cabin five minutes later, and when they got inside, Samantha headed for the sofa and sat down for a rest. Sarah headed for the kitchen and started preparing their lunch. She took out a large pot and filled it with boiling water.

"I'm going to make us some soup for lunch." said Sarah. "Is that all right with you?"

"Yeah, that's fine." said Samantha. Sarah took out some olive oil, butter and broth to mix into the pot.

"I'm going to need some vegetables too." she said. She opened up the fridge and took out celery, mushrooms, potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots and laid them out on the counter. After putting all the ingredients into the pot, she mixed them together carefully. She added some salt for some extra flavor. Thirty five minutes later, the meal was ready.

"Time to eat, sis." said Sarah. Samantha got up and followed her sister to the table, where she found two bowls and spoons. They sat down together and started to eat.

"How is it?" asked Sarah.

"This is good." said Samantha. "I just have one question, though. How come we're having soup?"

"With how cold it is outside, I figured that something warm would be perfect for a day like this." said Sarah. It took some time to get through their lunch as soup tends to be hot, but after fifteen minutes, they were finished.

"That was a great lunch, Sarah." said Samantha.

"Did I do a good job making it?" asked Sarah.

"Yes you did." said Samantha. "You're a good cook."

"I try my best." said Sarah. They cleaned up their dishes and then took a small nap on the couch. An hour later, they woke up feeling refreshed and so they made their way outside.

"Okay little miss bouncer, are you ready to go home?" asked Sarah.

"I think so." said Samantha.

"Then let's get going." said Sarah and they bounced off together. This time, they bounced a little faster than their earlier pace and they didn't stop anywhere. As a result, they completed the trip back to their house in about two and a half hours. By this time, the beautiful sunshine had been replaced by grey clouds.

"It looks like it's going to snow soon." said Sarah as they went inside.

"So am I." said Samantha. They both had some light sandwiches to eat and Sarah made them both a cup of hot chocolate to drink. Not long after they had finished their dinner, some snowflakes began falling from the sky.

"Look Sarah, it's snowing!" cried Samantha.

"Yes, I see that." said Sarah.

"Can we watch it please?" asked Samantha excitedly.

"We sure can." said Sarah. They went into the living room and sat down in the two wooden chairs that were at the window.

"Thanks for taking me bouncing today, Sarah." said Samantha.

"You're very welcome." said Sarah. The two girls smiled and spent the rest of the evening watching the snow together.

The End