She watched as thousands of her kind labored at their creations. She was young and could not participate, though she had tried about a month ago, sneaking into the work area and forming the great chains of liquid into elaborate works of art. The Judges had watched her; she had not noticed their presence until she had finished. Then they took the piece she had created, turned it this way and that. “It has already been done,” a Judge declared, and he broke it over his knee.
She cried herself to sleep that night.
Afterward, she could barely stand to hear the thousands at their work. But when the wind blew hard, they worked all the harder, and the sound of their work could be heard wherever she tried to hide from it. The wind blew and she began to think again of the smooth material transformed by her touch.
Now the wind was blowing again. She watched for a long time, afraid to do what she wished, knowing that the Judges would come to watch her. Anger and frustration caused tears to come to her eyes. Finally, balling her fists, she stood and joined the adults. Closing her eyes, she envisioned what she wanted to make. Slowly, as if playing a harp, she began to shape it, mold it, grow it.
When she opened her eyes, the Judges were there. They took her art, looked it over, turned it this way and that. She could barely watch. Then a Judge spoke: “It is unique.” He offered it to her. She took it, tears in her eyes. She could not stop smiling. “You are an adult now. Let your beauty join the rest.”
She studied her work for a long moment. Then, bending her knees, she heaved it into the air. The wind caught it up and took it away, where it joined the other snowflakes as they descended.