For what must have been the sixth time in minutes, I picked myself up from the icy pavement. I couldn’t wait for the cold weather to end: all it took was a bit of snow for everything to come to a standstill while everyone lost their minds. I would be perfectly happy if I never saw snow again.

As I rounded the corner by my house I noticed something new sitting in my front garden. It was a snowman. He was a heavyset Caucasian about four feet tall; some of the local kids must have left him there. I stepped past the snowman, unlocked the door and let the warmth wash over me. “Hate to be stuck outside in the cold,” I laughed at the snowman as I closed the door. I trudged into the sitting room and slumped into an armchair in front of the TV. Glancing out the window I noticed the snowman looking right back at me. It was kind of creepy; it almost seemed like the snowman was watching me, but I knew it was just kids trying to mess with my head. They’ve got to get their kicks somehow.

The following morning things took a turn for the worse. I came downstairs to find the front door wide open, and snowy footprints leading from the door to the hallstand and the fridge. One of my hats and one of my scarves were missing from the hallstand and all the beer in my fridge was gone. Following the footprints back outside I discovered that the snowman was now wearing my hat and scarf, and scattered around him were empty beer cans. Someone had gone way too far this time. As I cleaned up the cans my next-door neighbour came over to the wall. “Hey man, have you seen my garden gnome? He’s gone missing,” he asked me. “He was probably taken by the same person that broke into my house and stole my beer,” I grumbled, stamping back inside.

I stayed up late that night on the off chance that whoever it was that had been causing trouble came back. Sure enough, at about 2am, there was the sound of breaking glass in my front garden. I rushed outside to find that the window of the driver’s side on my car had been smashed in. And reaching inside to try and open the door was the snowman!

I seized the shovel I had been using to clear the driveway and advanced on him. “First of all you break into my house and drink my beer; now you’re trying to rob my car. I’m putting and end to this,” I growled firmly, bearing down on him with my shovel. His stick-arms offered little protection. Sifting through his remains I found the chewed up pieces of my neighbour’s garden gnome. “Bloody snow,” I grumbled to myself as I walked back inside and went to bed.