As Christmas Day came to a close The Equuschick and Shasta took to the children to the hill in town where Shasta used to sled when he was but a small tot.
The Dread Pirate Grasshopper had great fun sledding.
The Ladybug went up and down the massive hill once or twice and then was more than content to walk about and enjoy herself on her own two steady feet.
After countless sledding trips the DPG took a break to begin work on a Snow Castle.
He labored gleefully and was delighted with his product. The Equuschick admired it and then thought it prudent to tell him gently what the fate of his Snow Castle would be once the weather began to warm up. (This may seem a terrible thing to tell a small child, but you must remember this is the Dread Pirate Grasshopper. There were plans to return to the hill another day and the DPG was certain to remember both his castle and its precise geographical location, and to be crushed to discover its loss.)
Contrary to expectations, this gentle announcement did not provoke a meltdown. The fresh air and exercise had done its work in the Dread Pirate Grasshopper’s soul and he was calm and philosophical. He was grieved, however. As the sun sank and darkness began to fall, he knelt before his Snow Castle and stared at it with an intensity that could have melted the castle with a heat all its own. He was silent for a few minutes, and then said with conviction- “I will remember this. I will remember my Snow Castle.”
The camera had been packed away already and the Ladybug, the Bumblebee and Shasta were all waiting in the van. The Equuschick took a small and most inferior picture of the Snow Castle with her cell phone and showed it the to Dread Pirate Grasshopper. He approved.
Then he turned his back to his creation and walked up the hill with the stoic smile of a true Spartan. “I am sad it will melt,” he said. “It makes me very sad that it is going to melt. But I will remember it.”