This story has been transferred to my featured story called Sara and Snowcat as some comments, the end especially, were not showing up to read in this format.

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For the third time, her mum called , yelled, for her to come in and have her supper.

Sighing deeply, Sara patted snow into more of a paw shape , whispered she would be back soon and ran indoors.

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Orangetas Orangetas
51-55, F
21 Responses Dec 8, 2012

Sara sat up in her bed and rubbed the sleep out of her eyes. She yawned and stretched -- and then she remembered her wonderful adventure!

She jumped out of her bed, dashed to the window, and looked out to the yard below. She lowered her head sadly.The snow had all but melted, and only a red scarf marked the spot where Snowcat had stood.

"Was I only dreaming?", she asked herself with confusion, so sorry that it must have been only a dream.

Her mother's voice rose up the stairs, calling with excitement, "Sara!! Hurry down! Santa has come!"
Sara sighed and reached for her robe.

"Hurry, Sara", called father.

The living room was aglow with lights from the Christmas Tree. Mother and father were waiting for her, smiling brightly. Sara tried to look happy as she opened present after present-- a watercolor set, books, a pretty red dress, fur lined boots. But she felt very sad. Finally the last gift was opened and Sara thanked her parents and told them she loved her presents.

"There's one more box", said father, smiling even broader than before.

He walked to the kitchen and returned with a large white box adorned with a big red bow. Sara lifted the lid and saw powder blues eyes staring back at her from a little black and white face! The kitten flew out of the box and onto the settee beside Sara. Aside from the little black mask around his beautiful blue eyes, he was completely white!

Sara scooped him up into her arms and gave him the biggest hug while he purred loudly.

"I will name him Snowcat!!"

Snowcat flew on purposefully across over land then over dark sea.. <br />
" Oh Wow! " Sara was surprised by a huge whale rising up from the water, he blew a fountain of water in greeting thern dived back down into the deep. <br />
<br />
They reached land and Snowcat flew over beautiful pine forests, mountains, lakes and waterfalls. Everything was covered with a frosting of pure white snow which twinkled and sparkled under the moonlight. There was a great feeling of peace and something very magical.<br />
<br />
Sara waved to bears and elk who raised their paws and hoofs in greeting as they flew past.<br />
Sara heard the distant sound of tinkling sleigh bells then she saw lights ahead. Suddenly larger than life, standing before them was a smiling bearded old man wearing a bright red tunic and hat. <br />
He shook Sara's hand, smiled and nodded at Snowcat.<br />
"Welcome! Welcome to my home, we have been expecting you! " :)<br />
<br />
Father Christmas showed Sara and Snowcat around his large house and grounds. In the stables elves were busy polishing the reindeers sharp antlers and checking the sleigh bells. In a large shed elves were still reading late letters and sorting out gifts.<br />
" What would you like for Christmas Sara? What one thing above all else?" Sara looked up at Father Christmas and then at gifts the elves were wrapping..She saw a beautiful red coat, just like the one she had seen in London. She saw bears, even a Steiff bear, like the one she had seen in Germany. She saw ballet shoes, the cutest pink ribboned shoes, just like the ones in Russia. She saw surf boards and carved wooden elephants that would remind her forever of the elephants in Thailand. <br />
She saw musical instruments, a silver tambourine like the one she had seen in the Philippines. She saw paints and a camera.<br />
<br />
Sara sighed, she would love all these things, how could she choose just one? She looked at Snowcat who was sitting beside her smiling.<br />
Standing on tip- toe Sara leant over with cupped hands and whispered in Father Christmas's exceptionally large hairy ear.

Snowcat was delighted to continue their journey. He winked at Sara and they soared higher and faster over water that stretched as far as Sara could see. She held on a little bit tighter to her magical friend. "This is so wonderful" she whispered. Just then she noticed that they are no longer above water and a vast land of snow an ice stretched out below them in every direction.
"This is the home of the other snow animals" the Snowcat said. "The snow hare and snow fox and snowy owl all live here". Sara was thrilled.
The vast land of snow gave way to what seemed like endless silent forest. "Doesn't anybody live here ? " Sara asked Snowcat. "It's so quiet and dark"
Snowcat grinned and swooped down to the tree tops and when they got closer Sara's eyes widened in surprise. The endless forest was full of animal chatter and all sorts of noises. Even the trees were talking. Sara was in awe.
"What is this land of snow and ice and forest and home to so many creatures? Do any people live here?" Sara was curious.
"It's called Canada" Snowcat answered. He also explained that is so large and cold and wild, that most people chose to live closer together in cities and towns and villages in the warmest parts of the land.
"Lets go see them" he said. Sara nodded.
The cities and towns of this curious land were asleep when they arrived but houses and trees in the yards were glowing with all kinds of Christmas light displays. When Sara looked closer at them they looked a lot like the homes back in England. Even the towns looked a little like back home and had names that seemed familiar to Sara... Cambridge, Stratford, and even London. Strange place this was.
All this made her think about home and she wondered if anyone noticed yet that she was gone.
As if Snowcat could read her mind. "You'll be back before they know it" he said and beamed at Sara. She beamed back and asked "Where to next?"

New York....coming soon!

After flying over more sea Snowcat flew across Africa. He flew above the craggy snow tops of Mount Kenya and across an large wild life park. <br />
Sara saw sleepy lions dozing in long grass, elephants eating tree leaves and bark and rangy giraffe loping through the bush. A family of Hippos basked in a muddy river while shy dappled antelopes drank at the waters edge. <br />
<br />
Tall Maasi women attended their cattle. They looked proud and regal with their red cloth dress, bright bead necklaces and large hoop earrings . <br />
Grandmothers prepared the evening meal outside huts while children played in the dusty red soil.<br />
<br />
Sara adored the vibrant natural beauty of Africa. She wished she had a camera to show her mother.

Snowcat flew over seas and through clouds and then Sara saw a building which looked like a very large white shell .. it was the magnificent Sydney Opera House. <br />
<br />
They flew on across Sydney Harbour Bridge towards a coast with white sand and turquoise sea. Surfers were riding their boards through waves and playful dolphins raced each other, leaping in and out the sparkling surf.<br />
Sara laughed and clapped her hands in delight at the dolphins.<br />
" Oh, look Snowcat! " I would love to surf and swim with dolphins."<br />
<br />
Snowcat flew over parks where red green and yellow parrots sang and quarrelled noisily. Laid back kangaroos sprawled against tree trunks and koala bears slept curled up in branches of tall ecalyptus trees.

Leaving Thailand Snowcat flew on across a very choppy sea to the Philippine Islands. Every house and tree was festooned with the most elaborate dazzling display of lights. Large brightly coloured star shaped lanterns hung everywhere. Lit by candles and electricity, they were made from paper, bamboo, plastic, shells, glass, beads, foil, and even feathers.<br />
<br />
Everyone was smiling and laughing. Groups of children walked from house to house singing carols..They accompanied themselves with musical instruments.. many they had made themselves. A small girl was happily shaking a tambourine made from silver milk bottle tops. Sara wished she had a tambourine like that :)

Snowcat flew over a valley, bordered by a river and surrounded by forested mountains. In Thailands elephant rehabilitation centre. Jokia, Jananee, Malai Tong and Dok Ngern, all rescued from street begging, were enjoying a soak in the river, their tough backs scrubbed by loving keepers. As Snowcat flew above Sara waved and all the elephants trumpeted and waved their trunks back in greeting.<br />
<br />
They flew over Bangkok's golden temples, Buddist monks wearing bright orange robes sat cross legged silently praying and meditating.<br />
<br />
Bustling markets were selling beautiful delicate silks, silver and gold jewelry and every kind of pottery. Grizzled old men carved intricately patterned elephants to sell to tourists.

While Snowcat flew through the night Sara snuggled into his neck and imagined herself on stage , a prima ballerina, dancing all over the world ...

Snowcat's powder blue eyes twinkled with excitement as he thought about his next big surprise for Sara. He could scarcely wait! On he sped over snow covered forests and frozen lakes and streams.

A large city came into view, gleaming with Christmas trees or "yolka" and beautiful decorations, but it wasn't Christmas Eve in this country. "Dyed Moroz" (Дед Мороз "Grandfather Frost") and his granddaughter, "Snegurochka" (Снегурочка "The Snowmaiden") wouldn't be arriving with their gifts for thirteen days, until January 7, because the Russian Orthodox Church still follows the Julian calendar.

"I know where we are, Snowcat!", Sara announced happily, sure that her teacher would be very proud of her. She recognized Saint Basil’s Cathedral with its elegant onion domes from her history book and realized at once that they were flying above Moscow!

She clutched on tightly to Snowcat's scarf as he swooped down and circled a beautiful neoclassical building with massive columns. " Wheeeeeee", laughed Sara as Snowcat suddenly swerved and dipped even lower and flew right in the door of the Bolshoi Theater.

Snow cat hovered above the ornate balcony giving Sara a perfect view. Sara smiled brightly at the sight of all the people seated below her dressed in their jewels and finery, then giggled because she was the only person there in a night gown. She was glad that nobody seemed able to see her!

An orchestra was playing the most magical music. Sara knew it right away because grandmother had taken her to The Nutcracker Ballet in London just last year. Ever since that special night with grandmother, she had dreamed of gracefully dancing and spinning in a beautiful tutu, and wished with all her heart that she had a pair of lovely pink ballet slippers.

On the stage, dancing flowers entered to the melody of a harp, the most beautiful waltz Sara had ever heard. Sara gazed with wonder and joy as little Clara and the Nutcracker Prince watched lovely flowers dance and twirl in mesmerizing patterns as a single Dewdrop floated above them.

Silence quickly followed the end of their dance. A handsome Cavalier entered the scene and escorted the Sugar Plum Fairy to the center of the room and they danced together lighter than air! The beautiful dance completed Clara’s most perfect evening. Everyone came together on the court and bade Clara and the Nutcracker Prince farewell. Clara told the Nutcracker she wished the adventure would never end and he answered that it won’t for those who have an eye to see it.

"Oh, Snowcat! That was so wonderful!", exclaimed Sara with a happy sigh, "And that's exactly how I feel! I wish our adventure would never end!"

Snowcat swooped and twirled her way through the sky over the sea from England and found herself looking down on a magical land filled with friendly faces, smiling and looking up at her. At first she was surprised that so many beings in this place could see her - afterall it was only magical people and animals who could so clearly see her flying above - but then she remembered this was Ireland, the land of fairies, elves and the little people! They had prepared a wonderful rainbow pathway for her to follow across the sky. As she landed upon it, her snowy fur sparkled and gleamed with the wonderful colours as she slid across the beams. All the leprechauns cheered and raised their hats as she passed over head! "Nollaig shona!" they called as she passed "Merry Christmas!", and as she slid across the beautiful arc she could see the shining pot of gold at the end which the leprechauns had put there especially for her. "Thank you!" she called "But I won't take it with me ... I'll leave it there for everyone to see and to remind everyone that there's hope in the world ... I wish you all peace at Christmas time!".

Sara was overjoyed to see all the boy and girl leprechauns dancing with joy as her wonderful friend rode on the rainbow as if it was a fairground ride. As Snowcat flew off into the distant sky, Sara could see that there were frosty sparkles on the rainbow which had fallen from Snowcat's fur which made it the most beautiful rainbow she'd ever seen.

Countless glittering stars twinkled above Sara and Snowcat as they journeyed on though the night .<br />
<br />
" Oh, Look ! A bear!" Sara squealed with delight as she spotted a group of stars that looked like a giant polar bear, dancing in the sky. <br />
<br />
She smiled at the smiley shaped moon then clung on tightly as Snowcat headed down through the clouds.<br />
They emerged to see that the rising sun had cast a magnificent golden hue over a huge sprawling metropolis.

Sara clung to the Snowcat's frozen yet furry neck as they rose away from the old world below. She felt something tickling at her clutching hands. She leaned forward to peek and saw tiny, miniature ice cubes trailing from the Snowcat's eyes.

“Why are you crying, Snowcat … what could be wrong?” she asked.

“It's nothing really, Sara … where are we off to next?” she answered determinedly.

“Now … Snowcat … “Sara scolded. “Are we good friends or not? Please tell me why you weep.”

“Well … I know I'm the magic one … it's MY job to travel – not to choose. But I only get to fly once a year … and … and ...”

“C'mon Snowcat … dish. Is there someplace you'd like to see?” Sara asked.

“Maybe … maybe not a someplace … maybe a someone … “ Sara thought Snowcat was blushing now.

“A he?!!!” Sara squealed with delight! Snowcat was now crimson with embarrassment and her coat grew damp at the heat of it.

“Then off … up ...away we go, Snowcat!” Sara laughed into the night sky, and once again Snowcat soared for the heavens.

Below them, the twinkling lights of ocean-going vessels on the Atlantic seemed to scramble. Sara watched in amazement as they all formed a line, and then formed something much more magical. It was clearly a message.

“From the lady by the shore, cross the greatest lakes you'll soar.
Midst the woods of Norway Pine, you will find your valentine.”

“It's a message Snowcat!” Sara was laughing in joy now. “His name, Snowcat? Where does he live? What is he like?”

Snowcat's blushing was turning her coat to ice now, but somehow Sara felt more secure. Snowcat was purring and her smile was wide.

“His name is Arctic Cat … and I've never met him … never seen him … never been where he is – though he is like me, I'm told – he can only survive in the snow. They call his home 'The North Star State' – so I don't know why we need the directions of that message down there. Some call it Minnesota.”

“Minnesota … I wonder what it means?” Sara whispered. “Sounds dreamyyyyy.”

“It is a Native word, meaning 'land of sky-tinted water' “ Snowcat purred. “And I agree ... very dreamy.”

They easily found the lady waiting at the shore. She pointed them up the river toward the canal that led to those great lakes. They flew from one to the next, till finally they reached the largest lake Snowcat had ever seen … easily superior to any before. But beyond it … only darkness … a single light here and there dotted the deep ahead of them.

Snowcat swooped down to the land. Sara marveled at the people of Minnesota. There were Natives, but they were sprinkled throughout Norwegians and Vietnamese … Irish and Mexican … Swedish and Russian … Ethiopian and Dutch. It was a magical mix. All agreed on two items – first, Arctic Cat would be found best by land, not sky. He lived tethered to the snow. And second, the easiest way to find him was the trails.

The trails were magical ribbons of snow that criss-crossed the land leading to any 'where' of any significance. They were sleek, smooth surfaces of snow – somehow straight even when they formed an 'S'. Snow cat flew along them almost as quickly as she flew through the sky. At every major intersection of trails in the Minnesota night, animals gathered to greet Sara and the Snowcat.

There were lynx, there were hare.
There were moose – there were bear.
There were deer everywhere.
Snowcat slid to a stop among the gathering of four-leggeds.

“We're looking for Arctic Cat.” Sara declared. The animals unanimously pointed ahead in one direction.

“Thank-you!”smiled Snowcat. “Your trails are wonderful! Do you make them yourself?”

This seemed a source of amusement and the animals all giggled, though none spoke. Snowcat surged forward up the trail, swooshing and swinging through the dark north woods. Up ahead once again, she saw a gathering of creatures. They were already pointing the way.

Snowcat stopped anyway.

“Who makes these beautiful trails that lead us to our destination?” she asked.

An old opossum grinned at her.

“I'm surprised you wouldn't know.” he leered.

Both Sara and Snowcat found him quite cheeky, but of course they had no way of knowing the opossum couldn't help his creepy smile. The two plunged onward into the night. The trail was perfectly smooth now, as fast as the sky. It slipped from the land to frozen lakes – thousands of them. Snowcat could feel a hum to the trail now. The hum pulled her onward, and now she only slowed at the intersections crowded with animals all pointing the way ahead. Snowcat knew they were closing on their destination. And the hum grew stronger now … more magical.

Ahead in the distance a great gathering loomed. Here stood a great many creatures, no longer lining the trail, but blocking it. Snowcat slid to stop on the smooth surface. Sara popped to her feet. The hum grew nearer, drawing down on them. Beams of laser light poked out through the night as the hum grew to a growl. The animals scattered off into the wood.

As the growl turned to a roar, only Snowcat and Sara stood in the dark northern night. Then the roar came down on them, and they were bathed in light.

The roar died to a solid purr. As their eyes adjusted, they saw the shape that was Arctic Cat before them.

He was dark and glistened in the winter night … sleek, with splashes of green and purple in his jet black finish. His front legs ended in skiis. His back legs moved so quickly they were little but a blur, throwing snow behind him in a spray. And his eyes … his eyes sent brilliant beams of light deep into the Minnesota night.

“Good evening beautiful ladies.” Arctic Cat said. “ I'm pleased to see you, and pleased further more to share my place with you on your magical journey tonight.”

“Hiya, Arctic Cat!” Sara smiled at him. “You know about our journey?”

“Yes, little Sara … we all know. And it's a honor you'd make us part. If only for a brief time.” Arctic Cat bowed deep.

Sara was running her hands along the smooth of Arctic Cat, and he purred contentedly. Snowcat was frozen in place still in the middle of the trail. Her legs had turned to jelly at the awesomeness of Arctic Cat. Her blush was as deep as Sara had ever seen. Snowcat was almost crystal clear in Arctic Cat's presence.

“Is your friend okay?” Arctic Cat asked.

“Aww, she's fine, Arctic Cat.” Sara giggled. “She's just kinda sweet on you is all.”

“I am nothing of the sort.” declared Snowcat. “I am just studying the perfect surface of this trail.”

“I don't know about that ...” Sara giggled. “But we do have a question about the trails if you'd answer it, Arctic Cat.”

“I will answer your question, if you'll allow me a question in return.” said Arctic Cat.

“Well, we've been wondering who makes all these perfect trails ...” Sara continued. “And everyone seems to find it a funny question to ask.”

At that Arctic Cat snorted into a great growl of laughter. It was so abrupt and unexpected that he kicked out a small pile of snow and puff of blue smoke from his rear end.

“Oh my! Excuse me dear ladies!” Arctic Cat coughed. “But I can see the humor in the answer to your question. The trails are of men, made by men on machines … and maintained by men on machines much like me. And the men call these machines … snowcats.”

“No wonder!” Sara exclaimed. Arctic Cat roared his great laugh into the night and Sara rolled in the snow with fits of funny. Even Snowcat joined in the humor of it.

“Now please climb aboard if you would, ladies. You've many things to see tonight and I'm anxious to show you my humble offering.”

Sara and Snowcat did as requested. Arctic Cat shot off into the night with his passengers. Sara was glad for Snowcat to have a rest. Arctic Cat powered onward skillfully and swiftly, his laser eyes illuminating all ahead of him. Sara liked the warmth of his handlebars in her hands. Snowcat thought him a bit the show-off, but was secretly impressed at his handling and assuredness.

Arctic Cat slowed … and then stopped, in the deepest of the Minnesota night. Here there was only quiet – save for one sound – a faint ... magical ... trickle. A soft sound of running water. Sara leaped from Arctic Cat and ran into the night toward the sound. Arctic Cat and Snowcat followed together.

“It's a spring!” Sara called from up ahead. Snowcat rode silently – elegantly – atop Arctic Cat. She was becoming fond of his powerful purring.

“It is more than a spring little one … it is a beginning.” said Arctic Cat solemnly. “Step across, Sara.”

Sara easily stepped across the water trickling there in the virgin snow. Just as quickly and easily she hopped back. Still, Snowcat slipped from atop Arctic Cat and took the hand of her young charge.

“And with a single step, dear Sara … you have crossed the mightiest of rivers here in my land. You have crossed the Mississippi with but a step.” spoke Arctic Cat. “This is the birth place of the Mississippi.”

“Another Native word?” mused Snowcat.

“Yes ...” replied Arctic Cat. “Father of rivers.”

“The birthplace of Father of ...” Sara trailed off. “Oh, wow … oh … Arctic cat … that is soooo cool.”

“I'm missing something again, I presume … another inside bit of humor? Snowcat asked.

“Don't you get it Snowcat?” Sara was bursting with youthful recognition now. “While so many other places are celebrating a birth tonight … the birth of a son ...”

“ … here is the birth of a father.” Snowcat finished quietly. This Arctic Cat fellow might be a little deeper than she'd considered.

And with that, Arctic cat roared up again.

“Then this gift is not wasted on either of you!” he shouted. “I am forever grateful for your company, dear ladies!”

And then he was gone into the dark. Sara and Snowcat listened to his hum fade into the deep of night … shared only by the steady birth of the Mississippi at their feet. Slowly the hum grew louder again and then Arctic Cat burst back into view.

“Young Sara!” he shouted. “I bartered an answer for a question in return!”

“Oh yeah … sure!” she smiled at him.

“When your magical ride and this night have ended ...” said Arctic Cat. “many places from now, do you think it possible Snowcat might return here … to frolic in the snow with me?”

Sara broke into a wide grin … Arctic Cat shot off into the night … and Snowcat blushed crystally-clear. Young Sara wanted to feel that crystally-clear and slipped her arms round the Snowcat's neck. The Snowcat lifted back into the night, and both of them watched as Arctic Cat darted to and fro below them in the land of sky-tinted waters. And Sara was quite certain that the Snowcat was now emitting a very pleasant, radiant hum.

~~German legend says that, on Christmas Eve, all the rivers turn to wine, the animals speak to each other and to humans, trees bear fruit, church bells ring from the sea, and gems pour forth from the mountains, but only the pure of heart can be part of this magic.~~

On they sped through dancing snowflakes. Snowcat swooped toward a beautiful Cathedral with its doors open wide as parents and children, holding candles that they will light from the candles on the Advent Wreath, entered for midnight mass.

Suddenly Sara saw the tallest Christmas tree she had ever seen in her life, ablaze with thousands of lights and ornaments. "Oh, Snowcat! Isn't it beautiful!", she cried, hugging her friend tightly around his neck.

Below them, just in front of the Cathedral, Sara spotted the Cologne Christmas market or Weihnachtsmärkte. Towns people were purchasing baked goods and ornaments and handcrafted gifts. Families sipped mulled wine or cider and ate sweets as they wandered among the craftsmen's tent, watching toymakers, goldsmiths, wood carvers and glassblowers all creating their own special type of magic! A Brass band marched in the street playing joyous melodies, and the spicy aroma of gingerbread and stollen wafted through the crisp night air.

Snowcat twitched his whiskers and a glass of mulled cider and a piece of stollen filled with nuts, raisins, spices and sprinkled with icing sugar appeared in Sara's hands!

"Mmmmmm! So good", she murmured, between bites of the savory treat.

Across the Rhine river they flew, and to Sara the river looked as red as wine! Soon below them spread the deep dark forests of central Germany. Sara could hear the voices of the animals as they spoke Christmas greetings to each other! A large bear waved to her and shouted "Fröhliche Weihnachten!"

Sara giggled and waved, shouting "Merry Christmas to you, Mr Bear!", in return.

Sara marveled as she watched deer eating little apples from the crabapples trees and birds plucking cherries from heavy laden branches right in the middle of winter!

Tidy little villages appeared here and there, each house adorned with wreathes and with festive lights glittering and glowing in the darkness. Carolers paraded down snow covered streets, their voices ringing through the night...

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Sara didn't know the words in German, but she happily sang along in English-- Silent night, holy night...

Traveling onward they crossed the Elbe River and the lights of Dresden shined before them. The town square was abuzz with villagers and Sara was amazed to see the world's biggest nutcracker and the huge Christmas pyramid, a 45 feet high wooden carousel with life-sized angels and scenes from the nativity. It was so beautiful!

Snowcat flew closer so she could admire the carousel and Sara saw a little girl lovingly clutching a Steiff bear with a huge red bow. "Oh, I would love one of those", she exclaimed!

Snowcat whisked off to show Sara one last site in Germany, the fantastic Lichtenstein Castle, precariously perched high atop a cliff high above the valley floor in the Swabian Alb Mountain range. The lower levels of the beautiful white-stoned castle were carved into the rock upon which it was built, and a massive tower rose high into the air. Sara gasped with delight -- the castle looked like it belonged in a fairytale!

And then Sara gazed with awe and wonder as emeralds and rubies and diamonds spilled forth from the side of the mountain!

Alors.... the weather was far too dodgy for Snowcat and Sara to fly across the English Channel and like two clever cookies they opted for the Euro Star instead. Unfortunately , once aboard , Snowcat began to melt so Sara asked the very nice man in the buffet car if he could put Snowcat in his fridge for the duration. Obligingly , he agreed and all for a very reasonable charge of only 100 euros.

Before they knew it they were en France and ready to take to the skies again with Aled Jones' horrid voice ringing in their ears.

Alors.....soon enough they were flying over the killing fields of Normandy and Snowcat and Sara were transfixed by the rows of gleaming white headstones in the fields below......they looked like lots of teeth and made Sara giggle , somewhat inappropriately.

Alors.......next it was Paris and that abomination of modern architecture , the Eiffel Tower. Sara and Snowcat wanted to take a closer look but there was a terrorist alert in operation and French fighter jets were strafing the night sky......they decided it was quite unsafe to stop and flew on with Aled Jones still warbling in the background.

Alors........next stop was the the wonderful island and monastery of Mont Saint-Michel ( where Peza lived ).......Sara and Snowcat were overawed by the beauty of the place and decided to drop in on Peza to get some fortification before setting off for Deutschland. Peza was the perfect host and plied his guests with wine and snail sandwiches and croissants and tales of his derring-do during The War.

Alors.....soon it was time to go and Snowcat and Sara staggered onto the castle ramparts and kinda fell into the sky singing bawdy French peasant songs.......Aled Jones was silent now.

Next stop , Deutschland............

It was a very cold night in Louisiana. Three little girls snuggled together in one big bed, too excited about Christmas morning to sleep. Suddenly, a light, a shooting star maybe, appeared in their frosty window. What was that! The girls watched with wonder. Was this going to be the funest Christmas ever?

Sara and Snowcat zoomed over New Orleans, with it's purple, green, and gold, over Red Stick, and the cane fields and refineries. Rougarou looked up from the swamp, the Nutria scattered. The lazy alimagator was not amused. Sara saw the mischievous Lutin braiding horses manes. Mike the Tiger wished he could fly! Sara and Snowcat swished the leaves of the magnolias, and live oaks, and splashed the cypress knees.

The three little girls watched with wonder. Sara waved and Snowcat winked. Off they went on their overnight adventure.

Sara's bright eyes glistened with delight as she and Snowcat looked down upon the sleepy snow blanketed hills and hollers of West Virginia. The woodsy family smells of chimney smoke and pine made her feel especially welcomed there. Families of tawny colored deer were sweetly nestled within the deepest heart of the twinkling forest below, their sleepy shadows barely visible within the misty moonlight. She could see bright red Cardinals, their tiny heads tucked beneath their delicate wings, all of them perfectly still, sleeping sweetly within the snowy boughs of sparkling pine trees. The bright little birds appeared to her as merry ornaments placed there lovingly by the creator’s gentle hand. Beneath her body, Snowcat began to purr softly as they lifted higher and higher into the velvety core of night. There was a special magic rising from these gentle hills and there was sense of hope and goodwill that made her feel safe and peaceful. She would never forget this night or this place.

Snowcat flew into the night when suddenly the winds became fiercer and seagulls appeared along side them, swooping in circles and squawking in raucous delight at the sight of the girl and her magic cat. <br />
<br />
Sara held on tightly to Snowcat's red scarf and carefully peeked down. They were over the water!Lights from small fishing boats twinkled like little stars in the channel below. A large cruise ship was aglow with Christmas lights, passengers dancing and singing on the deck amidst falling snowflakes that swirled in the wind. On and on they traveled over the dark, rough sea, but Sara felt safe on Snowcats back, snuggled up to his cozy warm fur.<br />
<br />
At last, in the distance, Sara spotted land.

Ah HA! It was Snowcat I heard hssssssssssssssssssinging across the Missouri sky.

Blessings to you, too, Snowcat.

Sara tossed and turned in bed. She sat up and looked out the window. Snow was still falling thickly but a large round orange moon lit up the garden.<br />
<br />
Snowcat waved at Sara and gave her a big friendly smile. Grinning from ear to ear, Sarah waved back and leapt out of bed. She threw on her dressing gown and slid down the bannister, so's not to wake her snoring mum and dad. At the back door Sara tugged on her yellow gum boots and gloves and ran across the garden to Snowcat.<br />
<br />
Snowcat's powder blue eyes glowed with happiness as he crouched to help Sara clamber on his back. Then ...SWOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!! <br />
They were off !! They were up in the cold night air, flying through the snowy star filled sky!! Sara clung on tightly to Snowcats red scarf (her dads) She laughed, giggled and gently kicked Snowcat... as if riding a pony.<br />
" Oh Snowcat, this is the best fun ever! "<br />
<br />
Snowcat flew over village after village, marked by coloured Christmas lights shinning through the dark. He flew above frosted trees, icy fields, frozen rivers and onwards and upwards through the cold night sky till a myriad of lights sparkled beneath them .... and they were flying over the city of London!<br />
<br />
Sara shrieked with excitement when Snowcat flew over a grandly lit bridge above a glistening River Thames then above a magnificent snow covered castle. She buried her head in Snowcats neck when he flew over the Houses of Parliament and chimes from Big Ben nearly deafened her.<br />
<br />
Snowcat flew over Buckingham Palace and Sara was thrilled to see the palace guards dressed in scarlet tunics and black bearskin hats.<br />
<br />
She gasped with delight at the tall Norweigan Christmas tree sparkling with hundreds of bright lights in Trafalgar Square surrounded by a large crowd of smiling people singing carols in the snow. She watched children playing on the paws of four huge bronze lions. One little girl wore a bright red duffle coat, just like the soldiers scarlet tunics .<br />
"Oooh," said Sara, half to herself and half to Snowcat, "What a wonderful coat! I would love a coat like that ! "<br />
<br />
As Snowcat flew on through the night Sara glanced back and saw the largest wheel ever. It lit up the London sky like the most beautiful giant Catherine Wheel .

Snow diamonds sparkled in the moonlight as Sara waded across the yard, bundled up warmly against the frosty night air. She was so happy that she had finally convinced her mother to let her come back outside for just a few minutes to finish her creation.<br />
<br />
Sara reached deep into her coat pocket and found the two blue glass pebbles she had dipped out of the aquarium in her father's study, and instantly the snow cat had beautiful eyes. Bristles from the porch broom became fanciful whiskers. Finished! The snowcat looked perfect!<br />
<br />
Sara glanced at the kitchen window and saw her mother smiling and watching her. She waved to her mother and was answered with a beckoning wave to come back inside."Goodnight, Snowcat. I'll see you in the morning".

Fairy lights twinkled merrily in the pretty tree, the coal fire glowed a warm orange red. The living room looked beautiful and cosy, all ready for Christmas Day.<br />
<br />
Curled on a large squidgy sofa with her mum and dad, Sara had her supper on a tray, a special treat, as they watched a family Christmas Eve movie. But Sara was not interested in the movie. She ate quickly and kept glancing back at the window.<br />
<br />
Above all else, Sara wanted to finish Snowcat before bedtime.