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“Where do snowmen come from?” Alice asked.

“Why, people make them,” Papa said.

They were in the parlor. Alice was sitting in Papa’s lap, which was more comfortable than Santa’s, and they were looking at the Christmas cards the postman had brought that day. Nearly all of them had pictures of snow. Two had pictures of snowmen wearing hats and scarves, with lumps of coal for eyes and nose and teeth.

“But we can’t make one because it never snows in Dallas,” said Alice.

“Well, hardly ever,” said Papa. “And almost never enough to make a big snowman like these.”

“So why do all our Christmas cards have snow on them?” Alice asked.

“Because the cards are made Up North, where it does snow in the winter. Up there, they throw snowballs at each other and build snowmen every day till spring.”

Suddenly a gust of wind rattled the parlor window. The tree outside swayed crazily. Big raindrops spattered on the windowpane. The sky had turned almost black.

“It hardly seems fair,” Alice said.

“Um,” said Papa.

“Papa?”

“Yes, honey?”

“Was the Santa Claus at the theater the real Santa Claus?”

“Hmm! Well! Run along now, dear. I must read the paper.”

Alice jumped down and went into the kitchen to play with the cat.

Trouble

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