Little Freddy was a raindrop, well more precisely a water drop. He spent day after day going through the water cycle. Evaporating and joining others in a cloud for condensation, then the Weather Man would come by and tell them what precipitation they would be. It was all good and fine until it came to the precipitation process. No matter what cloud he went to, when ever the Weather Man went by and saw Freddy, he always made him rain, sleet, hail, our some other form of precipitation, but all Freddy really wanted to be was a snowflake. He wanted to be beautiful. You see, Freddy was vain and cared only for himself, and what few friends he had. He thought himself more handsome than any other water-drop. One day Freddy and his friend Amelia were standing in line in a cloud that had just finished the condensation process. The cloud was full of water drops waiting to be assigned a precipitation. “I don’t get it.” Said Freddy gloomily to Amelia, “ Why don’t I ever get to be a snowflake? You get to be a snowflake all the time. Look at me! I'm as good looking if not more so than anyone else. Why can't I be something I want to be? No matter what I do the cloud I’m in always ends up as rain or something. Everyone else gets to a snowflake. Now other water drops are mad whenever I’m in the cloud because they know they won’t be snow. All I want is to be a snowflake. I want to be beautiful, more beautiful than I am already, if that's possible. Is that so much to ask?” Amelia placed her hand gently on her friend’s shoulder, “Maybe you could talk to the Weather Man. Say that the next cloud you go in you’d like to be snow.” Freddy nodded, “Okay I will.” So when at last it was Freddy’s turn to jump down to earth, (as rain again), he looked up at the Weather Man. He was a small man with a long white beard and always wore a milk, colored robe with different weather pictures on it. In his hand he carried a gnarled old staff that he leaned on when he walked. “Mr. Weather Man, sir. I was wondering if um, the next time I go for precipitation would be okay if I was snow? I mean everyone else has been a snowflake and I don’t think it’s fair; I want a chance to be beautiful like everyone else! I think you should be fair to me! I want to be like everyone else. It’s not fair!” The Weather Man looked down at Freddy, “ Snow? No Freddy I don’t think you’re ready to be a snowflake. So jump to it I don’t want this ran to stop.” So Freddy jumped through the portal as plain old rain…again. It was a gloomy rain. As he went down Freddy realized that the Weather Man had only one snowflake on his robe. Freddy sighed, “He must not like snow.” But even so, every other water drop got to be a snowflake. Why not him? The next day was bright and sunny. Freddy was sitting in a puddle waiting for evaporation to begin. It was already getting hard to see his arms and legs, which meant he was turning into water vapor. Evaporation. Joe, another one of Freddy’s friends sat next to him. “What’s the matter Fred? You seem really down about something.” Freddy looked at Joe though it was rather hard to see him. “Have you ever been a snowflake?” Joe nodded, “Sure have. I was in the blizzard of ’77 man that was fun.” Fred sighed, “So I’ve been told.” The two of them began to rise into the air along with all the other members of the puddle. “Look,” said Joe, “Did you talk to the Weather Man? He might let you if you ask.” “I tried!” Freddy cried, “Believe me I did. But I can’t do it. He told me.” Joe patted his friend’s shoulder. “I’m sorry friend, I don’t know what to tell you. But you know it’s winter up north, maybe he’ll let you go up there and then he’d have to make you a snowflake.” Freddy shook his head, “I tried that last year, but he always sends me south where it never snows. He just doesn’t want me to be a snowflake.” They were quiet for a moment still calmly rising into the air. Suddenly Joe pointed, “Hey look! There’s a cloud. Come on.” The two of them propelled themselves using their arms and legs toward the cloud. “Maybe we’ll get some good quarters, the cloud seems pretty empty.” Said Joe hopefully. The two of them skidded to a halt inside the cloud where they were greeted by the clouds thunder maker. “Your lucky. We have the perfect quarters for you. This cloud isn’t full yet, so you’ll get a vacation.” Joe and Freddy grinned at each other; this would be a very nice little break. The days went by steadily, Freddy and Joe patiently waiting for the cloud to fill up, so the thunder maker could send a notice to the Weather Man. One lazy day Joe said to Freddy, “You know it’s almost Christmas Eve and the Weather Man hasn’t sent a single snowflake up north. Why do you suppose that is?” Freddy shrugged, “I dunno, but I don’t think he likes snow.” “How can he not like snow? He’s the Weather Man!” Freddy sighed, “I don’t know, but I don’t think he likes me. Everyone else has been a snowflake at least once. Why not me? What do you guys have that I don’t? I’m just as good-looking as everyone else if not more! I’m sure I’d make a beautiful snowflake!” Quite suddenly Mr. Thunder came into the room. He inclined his head, “Sorry to disturb you.” He said apologetically, “But the last water drop came in just a few minutes ago, so I’m sending out a notice to the Weather Man, that cloud 104 is full. Just thought I should warn you.” “Thank you, Mr. Thunder.” Said Joe. Mr. Thunder nodded his head again and was gone. “Well that’s that,” said Freddy, “End of vacation. I wonder what weather the Weather Man wants us to do now.” Since the message had been sent out to the Weather Man, Freddy and Joe had expected their little vacation to end quickly. However, it was the day before Christmas Eve and they still hadn’t been called upon. Freddy and Joe were sitting in their room watching the news. “Well it looks like the Weather Man is keeping those people busy and the water drops. Looks at this, a hurricane, a couple thunderstorms, a tropical storm, and sleet. Not to mention all the other weather all over the world.” But Freddy wasn’t listening; he was staring at an empty place on the T.V map of the US. Up in the north, probably New York and such. “Look at this Joe, It’s Christmas Eve and the poor kids up there don’t even have snow yet.” Joe shook his head in disgust, “What a guy, Christmas Eve and no snow! Flip to our news Freddy and see what Miss Riley has to say about that.” As soon as Freddy got to the station, they found Miss Riley LightningDot talking about the lack of snow with some senior water drop named George. “Well George, I don’t know if it’s true but I heard a rumor going around that the Weather Man claims there can’t be snow because he doesn’t have any more clouds. Is that true?” “Which bit? The rumor or the claim?” “Well if you can tell us both...?” “As a matter of fact I can. The rumor is true he does claim to have no more clouds. But the claim is false. You see there is one cloud unaccounted for. Cloud number 104. We’ve told this to the Weather Man but he insists that there are simply no clouds to use tonight. It really is a pity, Miss LightningDot. All those poor kids on Christmas Eve with no snow.” “It sure is…” Freddy clicked off the T.V. Joe looked at him, “What’s the matter Freddy?” “It’s my fault those kids won’t have snow this Christmas.” “What! What’s this got to do with you?” “The Weather Man hates me! He knows this is the only cloud he hasn’t used but he knows I’m in it so he won’t use it. I have to do something. Maybe I should leave.” “Freddy you can’t. There’s no way to.” Freddy sighed, “I’m going for a walk.” “Oh, okay, well I guess I’ll see you later.” “Yeah, I guess.” Freddy walked along the balcony wrapped around the cloud, when he was on the north side he faced out into the evening sky, “I’m sorry kids,” he said sadly, “I’m so sorry.” Suddenly Freddy felt a strong breeze that seemed cold and warm at the same time as well as strong and gentle. He knew that wind…the Weather Man. Freddy whipped around to find the Weather Man standing before him. The Weather Man’s face showed no emotion, but his storm gray eyes seemed to pierce Freddy like a knife. At the sight of him Freddy became angry. “What do you want?” he spat angrily. “I think the question is, what do you want.” “What do I want? I want you not to think about the fact that I’m on this cloud, I want you to think about the poor little kids who will have no snow on Christmas just because you didn’t want me to be a snowflake. It’s not about me anymore; those kids are what’s important. I think they deserve that snow.” “You know what I think Freddy?” “What?” “I think you’re ready to be a snowflake. To the north!” shouted the Weather Man raising his staff. Freddy felt the wind pick up and drive them toward the north, looking around Freddy saw other clouds going in the same direction. “You ready Freddy?” asked the Weather Man, a smile on his face. Freddy smiled back. “You bet!” he yelled and dashed back into the cloud lining up by the portal. Joe met him there along with his friend Amelia, who to Freddy's delight had also been on 104. They both smiled, “This is it Freddy. This is what you always wanted!” said Amelia gleefully. Joe shook Freddy’s hand, “Congrats, Freddy.” The Weather Man moved through the water drops to the portals. “Ladies and Gentlemen!” he called, “Get ready to snow!” The whole crowd cheered as the portals opened and they all started jumping through. When it was Freddy’s turn he looked up at the Weather Man who smiled down at him. “Just remember why you’re doing this Freddy. Merry Christmas.” Taking a deep breath to calm himself Freddy jumped and as he jumped he and all the other water drops around him changed from simple blue water drops to beautiful unique snowflakes. But that was not the only way Freddy changed. Freddy looked at the earth beneath him as he fell, he saw the kids smiling and laughing as they watched the snow fall, he saw the houses with candle lit windows and decorative lights, he watched the smoke curl from chimneys and he realized that this was what it meant to be a snowflake. Not that you were more beautiful than other water drops, or even prettier than the sights of Christmas. Indeed being a snowflake meant adding to a picture, completing it. Making the dark night just a bit brighter. This realization made Freddy’s heart swell as he softly landed on the ground. He knew he would have to wait a long time before evaporation, but that was okay. Because finally he was a snowflake and all the better on Christmas Eve.