770 THE SNOW MAN
soon have a change of weather ; I can feel that in my left hind leg, for it pricks and pains me: the weather is going to change.'
' I don't understand him,' said the Snow Man ; ' but I have a feeling that he 's talking about something disagreeable. The one who stared so just now, and whom he called the sun, is not my friend. I can feel that.'
' Off ! Off ! ' barked the Yard Bog ; and he turned round three times, and then crept into his kennel to sleep.
The weather really changed. Towards morning, a thick damp fog lay over the whole region; later there came a wind, an icy wind. The cold seemed quite to seize upon one ; but when the sun rose, what splendour ! Trees and bushes were covered with hoar-frost, and looked like a complete forest of coral, and every twig seemed covered with gleaming white buds. The many delicate ramifications, concealed in summer by the wreath of leaves, now made their appearance : it seemed like a lace work, gleaming white. A snowy radiance sprang from every twig. The birch waved in the wind—it had life, like the trees in summer. It was wonderfully beautiful. And when the sun shone, how it all gleamed and sparkled, as if diamond dust had been strewn everywhere, and big diamonds had been dropped on the snowy carpet of the earth ! or one could imagine that countless little lights were gleaming, whiter than even the snow itself.
' That is wonderfully beautiful,' said a young girl, who came with a young man into the garden. They both stood still near the Snow Man, and contemplated the glittering trees. * Summer cannot show a more beautiful sight,' said she ; and her eyes sparkled.
1 And we can't have such a fellow as this in summer-time,' replied the young man, and he pointed to the Snow Man. * He is capital.'
The girl laughed, nodded at the Snow Man, and then danced away over the snow with her friend—over the snow that cracked and crackled under her tread as if she were walking on starch.
1 Who were those two ? ' the Snow Man inquired of the Yard Dog. ' You've been longer in the yard than I. Do you know them ? '