Once upon a time, in a seemingly insignificant desert town known as Charleville, a man whose full name was Everett Garrison Jones was slowly walking up the dirt road that ran through the town’s centre, keeping watch for anything that might be unsettling to its citizens. Being the sheriff of Charleville was a role he took very seriously, seeing it as less of a job and more of a duty. Sheriff Jones believed in the town of Charleville, and its citizens believed in him, which is why he had remained as sheriff for as long as anybody could remember. Every morning, Sheriff Jones put his uniform on, tied up his black leather boots and, after making sure that his badge was on the right way up and his hat on straight, made his way along the main street of Charleville, watching and observing. Even though he had made this trip hundreds of times before without so much as a baby crying out of place, he never took his morning trip for granted. Which was lucky, because, on this day, as Sheriff Jones was reaching the halfway point of his morning route, he noticed an igloo sitting in the middle of the intersection that marked the centre of the town of Charleville.
Since it was early morning, there were very few people around, but the Sheriff squinted his eyes and, using the keen senses he had developed over the years, immediately assessed the surrounding area for signs of mischief. There was no mischief to be found, so Sheriff Jones took three quiet steps towards the igloo. Just as his boot treaded lightly on the dirt road for the third step, a short man wearing a hooded jacket and carrying a stick with a line on it so he could use it as a fishing pole walked out of the igloo. “Hey!” Sheriff Jones shouted. The man turned around to face the sheriff. “Just what do you think you’re doing? You can’t put your igloo there!”
“No,” replied the man as he ignored the sheriff and continued preparing for his fishing trip. “You are mistaken.” The Sheriff did not take too kindly to being told, ‘no’, particularly from an outsider who appeared to have no respect for his beloved town.
“Look, Mister, I don’t know what game you’re game playing, but it’s one you’re most definitely going to lose.” Without taking his eyes off of the stranger, Sheriff Jones moved closer to the man and his igloo and stood with authority as he gave the man a chance to respond. The stranger ignoring the sheriff while packing up his bag. He was about to walk away when the sheriff decided to prove he was serious. “If this igloo isn’t gone within the next hour, then I’ll be calling Big Jed and his friends to come down here, and we’ll move it somewhere else because it surely does not belong in my town.” The man stopped walking away from the sheriff and turned around to face him instead.
“If your shops and barbers and bars are not gone within the next hour, then I will close them for good,” the man replied to the sheriff, who was doing his best to remain calm. “It is you and your buildings that do not belong here. Not my igloo.” The stranger turned and continued walking down the dirt road that led out of Charleville, towards Stanton River.
Sheriff Jones stayed true to his word and called on Big Jed and his friends with the intention of getting them to move the igloo far out of sight of the town. Word spread quickly about the igloo and, by the time Big Jed and his friends arrived, most of the citizens of Charleville had made their way to the town’s centre to catch a glimpse of the mysterious object with their own eyes. The Sheriff and Big Jed and his friends surrounded the igloo. Then, when the order was given, the six men lifted the stranger’s house off the ground far higher than they expected, causing them to accidentally tip it over and breaking it in half. The townspeople looked on, feeling some remorse that the stranger no longer had a home. Noticing this, Sheriff Jones yelled, “Well, that’ll teach him to come into my town and start making decisions without my permission!” Many of the citizens started whispering amongst themselves when one of the girls pointed out that the stranger was returning and that he was carrying a large fish.
The look on the stranger’s face changed upon seeing his igloo, and he immediately bent down on one knee, repeating words and phrases no one could understand. “You stop that right now!” yelled the sheriff. “Or we’ll move you out of this town ourselves!” The stranger stood up and opened his arms to the sky, continuing to repeat the words. Sheriff Jones walked towards the man with a look of anger on his face that no one had ever seen before. But, just as he was about to arrest the stranger, he was stopped by the sensation of a single snowflake falling on his nose. As the stranger continued chanting, Sheriff Jones looked towards the darkening sky and was shocked to see that there was a lot more snow to come.
My name is Gregg Savage and, every night when the house is quiet, I write and publish a free children’s story at dailytales.com.au for you to share and enjoy.
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