Early Snow

Bob looked around at the world in wonder. “Snow in October,” he whispered. “It’s early this year.”

“Too early,” a voice said loudly at his elbow.

Bob jumped and turned around. “Fred?   Is that you?”

The snowman standing behind him sighed. “Yes, it looks like we were built right next to each other this year.”

“That’s wonderful,” Bob said. “It’ll give us someone to talk to. And look, you have button eyes this year. That’s different.”

“They’re hard to see out of,” Fred said. “I keep seeing double.”

“Huh. I wonder what kind of eyes I have,” Bob said.

“Tennis balls,” Fred said. “It’s creepy.”

“Appropriate for October then, right?” Bob said. “Do you think there’s some sort of Halloween magic? I’d love to go trick or treating.”

“Don’t be silly. It’s too early. We’ll probably both melt tomorrow.” Fred sighed again.

“We’ll probably be back when it snows again,” Bob said. “Twice in one year. Isn’t that great?”

“No, it means I have to plan my funeral twice,” Fred said.

“Oh, that’s right. I forgot you do that,” Bob said. “Maybe you could skip it this time? Two funerals a year does seem a bit much.”

“I think it’s best to come to terms with our mortality. The thaw is always near,” Fred said.

“Yes, well, I don’t really like to think about it,” Bob said. “Seize the day and all that. Hey, is that a squirrel?”

“Don’t call its attention to us,” Fred said. “You have acorn ears.”

“It wasn’t a squirrel. I don’t think they’re nocturnal anyway,” Bob said. “Maybe it was an owl. Or a bat.   Did you see the colored leaves on the trees? I can’t believe it’s October.   I really hope there’s Halloween magic.”

“It’s not like humans give out treats that we could eat,” Fred said.   “It’s not the North Pole.”

“Halloween isn’t about the candy any more than Christmas is about presents,” Bob said.

“It’s not?” Fred said. “How do you know?”

“Santa told me,” Bob said.

“What does Santa know about other holidays?” Fred asked.

“Santa knows lots of things. He said Halloween is about remembering loved ones who have passed on and sharing with neighbors and caring for children. And there’s costumes and candy and pumpkins. If there is Halloween magic and we can go trick or treating, then maybe we can eat the candy, too. I hope so.”

“Ah yes, remembering death,” Fred said.

“That’s what you’re going to focus on?” Bob asked.

“It’s important to me,” Fred said. “Since we’re sharing a yard this year, would you like a joint funeral?”

“Sure,” Bob said. “Do I need to give a speech or something?”

“You don’t speak at your own funeral,” Fred said.

“Then who will?” Bob asked.

“The wind whispers words of sadness and comfort,” Fred said.

“Doesn’t it do that anyway?” Bob asked.

“Yes, but I usually write up a script. I recite it a dozen times so that the wind won’t forget any of it.   If the winter is unusually long, I may have to recite it more often.”

“And the wind actually recites your script at your funeral?” Bob asked.

“Of course,” Fred said. “At least I think so. What else would it say? So, would you like some help writing your eulogy?”

“Um, no thank you,” Bob said. “I think I’m going to look for bats and think about Halloween instead.”

“That’s fine,” Fred said. “I can write yours, too.”

“Thanks, Fred,” Bob said.

“You’re welcome,” Fred said. “That’s what friends are for. Consider it an early Halloween treat, since we probably won’t live to see Halloween.”

“If we do, add ‘Bob was always right’ to my eulogy,” Bob said.

“Fine,” Fred said. And he did.