Monday, January 17, 2011

A Tale of Two Icicles

Once upon a winter week in rural New Jersey, two icicles formed. They came about as a direct result of snow melting off a roof and, most probably, clogged rain gutters. They started out on the modest side of icicle size.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

But the melting snow fed the hungry icicles well and the weather was perfectly set at below freezing every day. Every morning the snow melted a little bit and ran down their sides only to refreeze again by mid-afternoon, adding layer upon layer of fresh ice.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Day by day their girth widened and they got longer and longer. They acquired sharp pointed ends.  And, pretty soon they looked like this:

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Each day the dogs of the house thundered underneath them on their way out the door and down to the yard. The icicles were afraid that the repercussion from the crazed barking of the dogs would loosen their grip on the rain gutter, but they managed to keep holding on as tight as stalactites. The woman of the house carefully skirted around them instead of going under them (which she would have had to duck to do anyway) and admired them greatly. They preened and winked in the sunlight. Especially the larger one who was very vain.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

Like anything that is overfed and indulged, the icicles became quite nasty and menacing. They needed to be taken care of before things got out of hand.

One morning, without warning, they found themselves snapped off in their entirety by the man of the house. SNAP! Just like that they came free of their icy home. When the woman of the house saw that they were missing she was sad. But wait! The man had saved the broken-off icicles for her and laid them carefully in the snow.

She picked them up and raised them high so that the whole world could see how glorious the icicles had become.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

But one of the dogs of the house was also interested in the icicles as you can see.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

So the woman of house, whose hands were growing quite cold by then, handed off the largest icicle to the dog.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey

And so our story ends as the dog carried the icicle down into the yard to become the coldest “bone” the dog had ever chewed upon.

Lynne Robinson, Hewitt, New Jersey





What a lovely story -  no matter how lovely icicles look they can be quite dangerous, I think it was a very wise end to them.

Joyce, thank you, but yes, they had to go. Too bad, but today we have lots more ice to contend with!

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