Despite assurances (on the condition of good behaviour) that the gifts were safe, her longing for snow had intensified and distracting her from this weather obsession had failed miserably.
Mountains of double-sided sticky tape, glue, glitter and tissue paper which eventually evolved into home made Christmas presents, would have surely made Valerie Singleton proud. But they only worked temporarily as a diversionary tactic. You can't make a convincing toilet roll snowman when you have one eye on the job and the other on the window.
Applying herself to a single task is not one of Finje's prominent strengths. Asked to put on her shoes, it's not unknown to find her five minutes later with only one shoe on. The other is likely to have become "home" to Mouse fitted out with toilet paper for a bed and breadcrumbs for breakfast, Finje lost in fantasy and having completely forgotten about the task in hand.
Considering her lack of concentration when it comes to life's more menial tasks, her tenacious perseverance in attempting to influence meteorological changes was impressive. Having made numerous unanswered wishes on a star, she decided upon choreographing a "snow dance".
After a couple of hours of practice she emerged from her room. Fitted out in Winnie the Pooh tights, shorts, Doc Martens, my ski jacket and a cowboy hat, which she assured me were all an integral and necessary part of the dance, she made her way into the garden. What followed looked to me more like a potential medical emergency than a foxtrot but she seemed satisfied and the wait for its impact began.
Astonishingly, that evening, we actually had a light dusting of snow. It wasn't much and it was threatening to disappear any second but Finje was ecstatic. All the snow in the garden was just enough to build what I christened her Ronnie Corbett snowman. Finje couldn't have cared less. As far as she was concerned, it was mission accomplished.
By morning, all that was left of Ronnie was a glittery gold scarf, a plastic carrot and two walnuts.
Finje looked down at the remnants, thought for a moment and noted with a hint of melancholy.
"Oh, he only has his rudie bits left!"
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