Whump! The sound of heavy snow, moving fast, was loud in the forest just outside of the North Pole. In the trees, something moved.
Whump!! Another noise, like the first one, only louder, caused a few birds to fly out of the thick pine trees.
WHUUUMPP! A large snowball flew over the trees, and landed on what looked at first to be another mound of snow, only this mound stood up, laughing, and threw it's own giant-sized snowball into the trees.
"Ha! Missed me!" came a small, happy voice from behind a rock, and a moment later, the owner of the voice, a happy little Elf named Waldo, leaped on top of the rock, and threw his own little snowball, which hit the big white creature in front of him right between the eyes!
The creature--a yeti (also known as an abominable snow man by people who didn't know they were actually called 'yeti')--staggered back like the snowball had actually hurt him, which it didn't. As the yeti fell, as its last heroic act, it lobbed a car-sized snowball right at the little elf. Suddenly, from the trees, streaked a larger green blur, that grabbed Waldo and carried him away just before the big snowball would have buried him. It was Teema Elf! And as she ran, she also tossed a basketball-sized snowball that hit the yeti--foomp! right on the side of his head! The yeti collapsed in the snow, giggling huge, deep giggles that sounded like happy lion roars. Waldo and Teema came over and climbed on to the yeti's chest, giving each other high fives.
"Victory!" cried Teema.
"Champions!" shouted Waldo.
"Frozen!" rumbled the yeti, dumping huge handfulls of snow over his two friends. They laughed and rolled in the snow together for a few minutes, until an even larger yeti, who towered over the trees, called out to the three.
"Mom sez gotta go." said the yeti, with a little bit of sadness.
After saying goodbye to their friend, Waldo and Teema started walking back to the north pole, looking forward to a cup of hot cocoa sprinkled with jalapeño peppers--another one of Waldo's concoctions that Teema also enjoyed.
"It's much more fun having snowball fights with you around," said Waldo. "Mostly because, before you came here, I was the snowball!" Teema laughed. "That was fun, Waldo," she said. "Thanks for inviting me!"
"Tomorrow, let's go over to Chukker's cave." said Waldo, "and sing Christmas carols into it. It's so deep that you can get a whole verse of 'Good King Wenceslas' out before the echo comes back."
"I can't," said Teema. "I have to pack."
"Pack what?" said Waldo.
"My stuff," said Teema. "I'm going back home to Minnesota."
Waldo stopped walking. "You're leaving? Why?"
"I want to be with my family for Christmas," said Teema. "I was only visiting here for a few weeks."
Waldo looked like he was about to cry. "I thought you were my friend!" he said, and ran ahead of Teema, back to his home.
Will Teema stay at the North Pole? Will Waldo ever see his friend again? Keep reading The North Pole Times to find out!