A Special Doll for a Special Girl

~ Ruth Draper

The petite Snow Angel doll began life in a land where it never snows, but found her way to the majestic Castle of the Snow King before her fairy tale life ceased. Snow Angel came to life in a horrible, musty sweatshop in Honduras. The tropical heat almost melted her tiny, fragile arms. The seamstress, dreaming of a flowing organza wedding dress for her daughter, sewed Snow Angel’s flowing, snow-white dress with more care than any other she had ever made. She knew the extra time taken would bring down the wrath of her wretched, domineering supervisor, but Snow Angel deserved her best effort. Maria meticulously stitched miniscule, frosted white rosebuds on the multilayered skirt; she added just a dollop of baby blue background to set them off from the pure white material. Then she embroidered a sparkling silver border around the hem, which seemed to get longer with each tedious stitch. Maria chose a soft, baby blue taffeta for the fitted bodice and bouffant sleeves so that Snow Angel was set apart from the Bridal Angel doll who was being dressed at the adjacent, humming workstation. A pair of fluffy, gossamer wings attached securely in back completed the darling outfit.

Now an important decision . . . would Snow Angel look like her maker or would she be in the traditional style of all the angels produced at the decrepit factory, a blue-eyed honey blonde? Maria carefully selected a combination, dark auburn hair and baby blue eyes to match the dress, a doll that should appeal to all markets. Then she carefully placed Snow Angel in the stiff, plain, gray cardboard box. Soon other dainty dolls assembled at the ramshackle plant joined Snow Angel in a huge heavy-duty carton to make the journey to the United States of America.

The rough sea journey and transport on the heavy tractor-trailer almost shook off Snow Angel’s curly eyelashes. Finally, she arrived safely at the local Wal-Mart store and posed gracefully behind the clear plastic film on the front of her box; she knew that to reach the Snow King’s castle she must grant a little girl’s wish to see her first snow. Soon Suzy’s mother ambled tiredly down the narrow aisle and chose the petite Snow Angel to be Suzy’s first pose-able doll on her sixth birthday. Now she would have her chance!

Suzy opened Snow Angel’s frilly wrappings first that birthday morning. As she uncovered the box, Snow Angel blinked her soft azure eyes and Suzy fell in love with her immediately. She never left Snow Angel lying around for the drooling Saint Bernard, nor did she take her outside to play because girls with Muscular Dystrophy did not play outside. Snow Angel spent her days in Suzy’s uneven lap as she sat wheezing in her wheelchair, and at night, Snow Angel was royally enthroned on a soft downy pillow right beside Suzy’s auburn ringlets. One night, Suzy prayed to Snow Angel the following: it would snow; her mother would let her go out to play in it; and maybe she could even lie down and make a “snow-angel.” Snow Angel happily relayed the prayer to the Snow King and soon light, delicate, intricately formed flakes were fluttering gently to earth. By morning, a six-inch blanket of glistening snow covered the lawn and Suzy begged her mother to take her outside to experience this phenomenon. After her mother cautiously bundled her up, she rolled down the ramp into the pristine white powder. Before her mother could stop her, she wriggled out of her chair and fell in the snow. Then, with Snow Angel tucked in her jacket for inspiration, she flapped her arms and made a “snow-angel,” just as beautiful as her special doll. Snow Angel’s mission was now complete, and when the day came that Suzy’s mother tearfully placed the beloved Snow Angel doll on the pillow in Suzy’s casket, Snow Angel knew that Suzy would soon be in Heaven and she would be in the Snow King’s castle.