INTERIOR: An upstairs room in an old house with antique wallpaper hanging loose in some places. Snow is seen on fir trees outside the window. There is a bed in front of the window. There are blankets on the bed and the lump of a small person under them. The blankets are dark in color, but white covers the center. The lump moves slightly and a face peeks out.
BOY: It is cold! The water in my cup is frozen solid, again. I don’t want to get up. The floor will be cold, my clothes will be cold. I wish I could reach my clothes, then I could warm them up in here with me before I put them on.
The boy squirms around a little.
BOY: The blankets are making a strange sound. They’ve never crunched before. What’s happened?
The boy looks up and over the blankets on his bed.
BOY: SNOW?!?! How did snow get on my bed? And so much Snow! I’ve got to get it off before the room gets warm enough for it to melt. I don’t want wet blankets and a wet bed. But I’ve got to be careful not to get the floor wet, or I’ll be in trouble.
Very slowly the boy slides out of bed, careful not to disturb the snow on top of his blankets. He stands beside his bed and looks at the problem of the snow. Soon, he begins to shiver and shake. He takes one corner of the blanket close to him and folds it up and over toward the center of the blanket. He takes the other corner close to him and folds it over. Next to carefully crawls over the end of the bed, reaches the corner of the blanket there, and pulls it also to the center of the bed. Then he brings the last corner over.
The boy very carefully picks up the blanket by the corners together in the center and pulls it off the bed without spilling any of the snow. He carries this down dimly lit stairs and into the bathroom where he turns on the light. There he opens the blanket and lets the snow fall into the bathtub. He shakes the blanket to get as much snow as possible off the blanket, then folds it together, keeping the snowed on side on the inside and goes back up to his room.
In his room, he carefully opens the blanket in such a way that air can circulate freely on both sides of the blanket. When he is satisfied with this, he begins to get dressed.
INTERIOR: Rooms are shown in dim light with no people.
The boy comes out of his room, dressed and goes to the back door where he takes his coat off the hook on the wall, puts it on and goes out the door, careful not to make noise.
EXTERIOR: A cluttered back porch with some snow and back yard with a pond.
As the boy walks away from the back door, across the porch, he picks up an ax leaning against the wall of the house and a large empty bucket, and carries these down the porch steps. He walks across the yard to the pond. He walks to a spot on the side of the pond where a roughly shaped square had been chopped into the ice. He stares at the square, then uses the ax to chop through the night’s frozen layer. When it is broken through, he dips the bucket into the water and hauls it up about half full.
BOY: I wish water didn’t weigh so much. It seems a lot heavier in the winter than in summer. Having so many layers of clothes is awkward too, but the chickens need water and it’s my job. If they don’t have water, they can’t lay eggs. We need the eggs to eat.
He begins to walk away from the pond, ax in one hand, bucket awkwardly in the other. As he walks, he glances at the house and sees a downstairs light come on. He nods his head and goes to a small shed, unlocks the hook on the outside of the door and goes in.
INTERIOR of a small chicken house: Chickens are milling about.
Inside the chicken house, he boy shuts and hooks the door behind him. He sets down the ax and pours water into a small, empty trough.
BOY: Now I can get ready for school.
One thought on “One Boy’s Life by Duane L. Herrmann”
The story kept my interest but the ending was a little disappointing.