Ryan stumbled as he ran across the playfield, through the snow, to where his friends Grant and Dylan were waiting. Today was the big day. The day everyone had been so excited about all week. Today was the Snowman Building Contest, and they were going to win! Ryan just knew it!
Dylan and Grant were already working hard at making the three big snowballs they would need to make the snowman. Their faces were red from the cold, and their breath came in quick bouts of little white clouds.
“Took you long enough to get here,” Dylan said to Ryan as he dusted the white powder off his new red gloves.
“Sorry, but I had to get these, and I think they will be perfect.” Ryan pulled a carrot and a small pile of dark stones from his pockets. “I couldn’t find any charcoal, but I think these rocks will make a really good eyes and mouth and the carrot is for his nose.”
“Coal would have been better,” Grant said, eyeing the rocks with doubt.
“I don’t know where to get any,” Ryan answered. “Do you?”
“Not really,” Grant replied.
“Me neither,” said Dylan, kicking over a little pile of snow near his feet.
“These will do fine,” Ryan said. “Now let’s get back to work so we can win.”
Ryan, Dylan, and Grant found that it was a lot of work building their snowman, but also a lot of fun. Soon Ryan, Dylan and Grant were laughing together as they stacked the three great snowballs on top of each other. They stuck two sticks where the arms should be, and with a little boost from Dylan and Grant, Ryan put the stones where the eyes should be and made a smiley face for his mouth. Finally, they stuck the carrot out for a long pointy nose.
Their snowman was finished. They stepped back to get a good look at him and felt like something was missing; but none of the boys could say what it was. They sat on the ground in the snow and stared at their snowman, trying to think of what it was. Finally it hit them.
“He needs a hat!” Ryan said and pulled off his own hat and placed it on top of the snowman. Even though Ryan felt silly, knowing his red hair was probably sticking out in all directions, and he might get in trouble with his mom for not wearing his hat; the snowman was finally perfect. It greatest snowman ever made.
There was a yell from behind them. Ryan, Dylan, and Grant spun to see what it was. Two fifth graders were running right for them, not looking where they were going.
“Look out!” Ryan cried, but it was too late.
The boys looked on in horror as one of the boys plowed headlong into their snowman, knocking him over. The body was smashed to powder, leaving only the intact head rolling on the snow. Ryan’s hat fell off the snowman’s head, and the carrot came out and stuck in the ground.
The two fifth graders laughed with each other. “That snowman looked like a loser anyways. There’s no room on this playground for loser snowmen.” With that, the older boys ran off.
“That makes me so mad,” Dylan said, glaring at the bullies as they left.
“Me, too,” Grant said, “Those fifth graders are so mean!”
“Oh no,” Ryan said, looking at the ruin of their creation. “Now what are we going to do? We don’t have enough time to rebuild our snowman before the contest is over.”
The boys stood there staring at their crumbled snowman for several minutes, trying to figure out what to do. Ryan wanted to go find the older boy’s snowman and smash it too, but he knew that would be wrong, and it wouldn't help them win the contest.
Meanwhile, Grant had picked up the snowman’s head and replaced Ryan’s hat and the carrot. Even without his body, he still looked like a great snowman. Looking at the still-intact head, Ryan came up with a plan. “Okay, I know what to do, but we have to work fast if we’re going to get it done in time.”
Following Ryan’s plan, the boys dug a big hole in the snow where the snowman had been, all the way to the ground below. They then put the head of the snowman in the middle of the hole and stuck the sticks they had used for his arms in the ground on either side of the head. They then took a few steps back and looked at their new creation.
“That’s an interesting snowman, boys,” said a voice behind them. It was their teacher, Miss Beth. “What do you call him?”
“The Greatest Snowman Ever Built,” Ryan said proudly. “after he fell in a hole.”
“So he is a snowman who fell in a hole?” Miss Beth asked.
The boys nodded enthusiastically.
“I think that’s clever. Even though Katie and Susan won the contest, I say you should win an honorable mention for ‘Most Creative’ snowman.”
“So he’s not a loser?” Ryan asked.
“Not at all,” Miss Beth answered. “He’s a winner!” she said, pinning a red ribbon to the snowman’s hat. “And boys, I saw what happened earlier in the contest when your snowman got knocked down. I’m proud of each of you for how you handled yourselves and coming up with a creative solution. Each of you are winners!”