Darlene Quaife

New Works

 

Snowdrift Princess: An Illustrated Book for Children

 

The Adventures of the Snowdrift Princess: Excerpt

Taiga and Sava stand under a yellow banner as bright as the sun. Sava reads the words that run like muddy paw prints across the shiny material: THE THIRD ANNUAL BOREAL FOREST SNOWDRIFT DIVING CONTEST.
“Look!” Taiga sniffs at the contest table, “a crown for the Snowdrift Princess.” Woven into a magical circlet are rawhide bones, studded with gems of green lake and blue glacier ice.
“Wow,” says Sava, “look at the trophy for the Snowdrift Prince.”
Before them on the table stands a shimmering tower of frozen fish. All the kinds of fish that sled dogs love – Arctic char, burbot, connu – frozen together tip to fin to make a wondrous statue. The scales on their fish skin sparkle like diamonds.
“Oh, but look at the snowdrifts piled high for the contest.” Sava frowns, putting wrinkles his black and white face mask.
“They are oh so big!” Taiga says and gives the bone crown a hungry glance.
“Let’s practice in the woods. We’ll find an extra-large snowdrift where the wind blows the snow against the trees.” Sava gives the fish trophy a quick lick with his extra-large pink tongue.
“Yes,” says Taiga. “Yes, we’ll practice very hard. And you will be the Snowdrift Prince and I will be the Snowdrift Princess.”
Sava runs in a circle chasing his tail with glee.
Taiga smiles a toothy doggy grin.

 

The evergreen trees of spruce and fir are dressed-up in wonderful white suits of snow ready for the party that follows the THIRD ANNAUL BOREAL FOREST SNOWDRIFT DIVING CONTEST. Taiga and Sava search among the trees for the biggest snowdrift. They find one that is as round as an igloo.
Sava is so happy he chases his black and white tail. Taiga grins a toothy dog smile.
While Sava is still spinning in a circle, nose to tail, Taiga leaps up high, higher, highest over the extra-large snowdrift. With her paws tucked up close to her body and her long elegant snout pointed down like a torpedo, she dives fast, faster, fastest into the snowdrift – following her nose as all dogs do.

 

Spin, spin Sava goes, sending spindrift out in a wide circle.
Stop he must, but he is too dizzy to stand up. Sava falls over in the snow, rolling about on his back. When he’s upright on all four paws, he shakes the snow out of his coat. Looking down, he sees that he has made a glorious snow angel. “Look Taiga, look, an angel dog in the snow.”
No answer. Where can she be?
“Taiga, Taiga where are you?
No answer. Where can she be?
He sniffs, following his nose as all dogs do. He finds her scent on top of the igloo-shaped snowdrift, but she is nowhere to be found. He sees her paw prints disappear into the snow.
Sava digs frantically, spraying snow behind him like a snow blower.
“Taiga, Taiga!” he cannot find her.