Outside, the snow falls heavy, minute by minute, second by second. Inside, X holds him, not quite sleeping, not quite awake. Shivering as strange visions swim behind her eyes, the morning passes far from the grasp of the world at large. In the garden, the animals look up at the window, drawn to the one they call their own. As if sensing their presence, she stirs in his arms and pulls back the covers. Asking what’s wrong, she takes him by the hand and leads him to the window. Drawing back the curtains, she points to the animals as they sit there in the falling snow. Resting her head on his shoulder, together they hold hands and kneel side by side, neither moving or talking. At first came the cats and dogs from the neighbouring houses, and then the foxes and hedgehogs as well as the swooping ravens and crows and the thieving magpies hopping from one foot to the other in the ever-deepening snow. Joining then came the badgers that waddled from the bushes at the foot of the garden. Flanking them on either side were the rabbits and hares and even a few curious deer, skittish and alert to their new surroundings. In the trees, the squirrels were joined by chirping robins and sparrows that looked down at the frogs and rats that moved in circles around the feet of the panting foxes, and as the wind blew snow onto their fur, X wiped away her tears. She wasn’t crying from sadness this time. This time was different. Opening the window, she leaned her head out and waved at all her friends, and they, in turn, waved back in their animal ways. Wrapping his arms around her waist, he rested his chin on her shoulder as the chimes of a city clock reached them from afar. With the window open, it was cold enough for him to shiver, but as X began to sing her song, all he felt was magic. Singing to the gathering of all the furry, feathered, spiky and slimy creatures, the curls of her hair spilled and danced in the bitter breeze, and as the snow covered the heads looking up at her, her words carried through the air for miles and miles, calling to those who had yet to come.