Ten year old twins, Jimmy and Johnny, were fishing one January afternoon. Now, to us, here in this cold country, Canada, it might seem a little unusual to be fishing in January, except if we were ice-fishing, but Jimmy and Johnny live in southern California. It never snows in southern California, or does it?
“Hey, Jimmy,” said Johnny. “I’ve got a big one this time!”
Johnny stood up in the boat to reel in his catch.
“Johnny!” Jimmy screamed. “You shouldn’t stand up in the boat! It could tip!”
“I doubt it,” said Johnny. “I know what I’m doing.”
No sooner did Johnny say that then the boat tipped over. Both twins fell into the cool water, head first. Johnny was the first one to surface. Jimmy poked his head out of the water within seconds.
“I told you the boat would tip,” said Jimmy.
“Oh just never mind that now,” said Johnny, swimming quickly towards shore.
“Wait up,” said Jimmy.
Johnny didn’t listen to his brother. The only thing he was interested in, was getting to shore as quickly as he could. He wanted to get into some dry clothes.
Johnny reached the shore first. As he stepped onto the white sandy beach, something didn’t feel quite right. His feet were freezing cold. Bending down, Johnny picked up a handful of sand. It felt very different. It didn’t feel like sand.
“What are you doing?” asked Jimmy, who finally caught up to his brother on shore.
“This isn’t sand,” said Johnny, handing a handful to his brother.
“No, it isn’t,” said Jimmy. “This is snow!”
“Snow!” said Johnny. “It can’t be snow! We live in southern California. We don’t get snow here.”
“Well, this is definitely snow,” said Jimmy.
“Yeah, I believe you,” said Johnny. “I’m getting cold, Jimmy.”
“So am I,” said Jimmy. “We don’t have anything with us, either. Everything sunk with the boat.”
“What we need right now is a nice warm fire,” said Johnny.
“And, a cup of hot chocolate,” said Jimmy.
“Yes,” said a voice behind them. “If you don’t soon get by a fire, you two are going to freeze to death.”
Stunned, both boys turned around. An old man stood at the far end of the beach. He was dressed in warm clothing, complete with boots, hat and scarf.
“Who are you?” asked Johnny.
“My name is Harry,” said the man. “Welcome to Snow Island.”
“Snow Island!” exclaimed Johnny. “It figures!”
“Isn’t it wonderful?” asked Harry. “Imagine, all year round, we can build snowmen and go tobogganing and skating.””But why would you want to do that?” asked Johnny. “Why wouldn’t you want to have the warm sunshine and sandy beaches and palm trees? Why would anyone want to live where there is snow?”
Harry could see that his two new friends were quite cold.
“Follow me,” said Harry. “I will take you to my little cabin in the woods.”
Soon, Johnny and Jimmy were toasty warm by the fire. Harry found some clothes that fit the twins.
“You know,” said Johnny, a few minutes later. “This isn’t all that bad.”
Harry brought a tray into his living-room. It contained two mugs, filled to the brim with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
“This sure is good,” said Jimmy. “Thank-you Harry.”
“You are quite welcome my dear friends,” said Harry. “Now that you two are toasty warm, why don’t we go outside and play.”
Johnny, Jimmy and Harry had a wonderful time playing in the snow. Johnny made a huge snowman and Jimmy went tobogganing. Harry showed both boys how to skate, too!
“Wow!” exclaimed Johnny. “This is fun!”
“Yes,” said Jimmy. “It is!”
“I never realized that having snow around could ever be fun,” said Johnny.
“Well boys,” said Harry. “I’m glad you two are enjoying yourselves. Feel free to come to Snow Island anytime you want.”
“Are you sure?” asked Jimmy.
“Yes,” said Harry. “I love having company.”
A big wave pounded the snow covered beach. With it, a small aluminum boat washed ashore.
“Hey!” exclaimed Jimmy. “That’s our boat, Johnny.”
“Yes it is,” said Johnny.
Both boys said good-bye to their new friend, Harry.
“Come back soon,” called Harry.
“We will,” shouted Johnny.
“You can count on it,” called Jimmy.