To Conquer Snow

“Oh man of winter, you will find that we are fierce and you are blind.  Oh god of snow, you curse with cold,  but we grow strong as you grow old.”

Snowy field liz west flickr

Photo credit: Liz West

Marro opened his eyes. It was dark, but the sun came up late and low these days. He heard the cows shifting and mumbling. They knew it was morning.

Leaving the covers was the hardest task of the day. His wife, so warm and soft beside him. Their daughters, quiet, closer to the cow-heated wall. His old father, snoring from the other end.

Finally, disentangling his legs from his son’s, he slipped out, pulling on his boots.

Concern pulled him to the door. Today was the last chance. The snow-statue should have been built already, but for weeks, they’d only had flurries. Three years ago they couldn’t do the ritual, and such a bad year followed. Eleven years before that, the same.

His cloak wrapped tight, Marro cracked open the door. Moonlight revealed a miracle. Snow covered the fields, the cart, the trees. Two hands deep, at least.

He almost cried. Yes, they could build Onerro the White Man today. They would warm themselves with spiced cider and dancing, taunting Onerro with the old songs. Then tonight—Last Night—they would tear it down, melt it with torches, stomp it flat.

“Thank the Green Lady,” Marro whispered. “We are blessed.”

Submitted for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge.  Thanks to Al Forbes for hosting, and for providing the inspirational photo prompt!  Click here to submit your own story, or read the others.  And stay warm out there, folks!


 Photo credit: Al Forbes, A Mixed Bag


16 thoughts on “To Conquer Snow

    • Thanks! Yes, it’s pretty common to have “fight back the winter’ or “fight off bad luck” rituals, and this one seemed pretty likely to me — build a big snowman and knock it down. Although as with any good luck charm, you can see how superstitious they get if they can’t do the ritual, when everything bad that year gets blamed on it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. In my neck of the woods, a good snow pack means staving off potential drought come late spring, summer and fall. We’ve been doing the happy happy joy joy snow dance this year. Wouldn’t think of melting The Great Snow Man!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Here in Southern CA we appreciate someone ELSE getting snow pack, but it’s not quite the same. 😉 And definitely not the same as for these poor people in the story, living in rural, low-tech conditions deep in snow country.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story. I thoroughly enjoyed your take on the prompt. Loved the ending – I’ll be thinking ‘Onerro’ next time I help the grandchildren build a snowman. Might even have some cider!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, glad you liked it! The whole ritual does sound like fun, doesn’t it? (From the relative safety of modern life, at least.) Especially if you get to drink hot cider and sing taunting songs. 😉


  3. A very unique take on the prompt. I love the ritual idea. It’s kind of like Groundhog’s Day and all the other rituals/superstitions we believe even today! Though this one makes much more sense than Groundhog’s Day! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! It can be hard to come up with rituals for Eneana that aren’t too derivative of real-life rituals, but still seem reasonable. For all I know, there’s some real culture that does this. It just makes too much sense not to!

      Liked by 1 person

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