My father used to tell me a story from his childhood; he said that once when he was twelve summers old that in the middle of the harvest a freak blizzard ravaged our small village. Most everyone had been able to find shelter during the storm, but my father had been farther out in the fields than most. He said that he struggled towards where he thought home was, but the walk seemed endless…there was no sign that he was going the right way. My father said that just when he had given up and sat down on the ground to sleep, that a beautiful stranger walked into view. Though the wind was howling wildly around them, not one of the light blue hairs on her head moved, and her beautiful silk kimono clung lightly to her body. Her skin was white as the snow that was blowing fiercely around them, he said, and her eyes were the color of a cloudless day. She had lips the color of very good steel, my father a sword maker to the bone recalled, and she seemed to on the verge of fading away into the storm herself. Then she smiled and waved her finger as if to scold a misbehaving child, and my father thought he heard her say “Not here little snowstorm.” After she said that she lifted one of her arms, and to my fathers disbelief the snow and ice seemed to gather around her hand, until the deadly blizzard had turned into a meek snowfall. He then said that she smiled at him with a knowing smile, bowed, and left. He never forgot the story, even on his death bed, his last words were a lament that he had never seen the beautiful ice maiden again... This is a photo manipulation. The face of this picture belongs to my cousin Keiko, and the photo was taken by yours truly.