The snow drifted down in large round flakes that stuck to the eyelids and the tip of her nose. Sarnie stuck her tongue out. Sarnie counted the snowflakes that floated down to melt on her tongue. Forty five had fallen so far. She loved to count snowflakes.
Eight year old Sarnie slowly walked to the chicken house counting her steps. Four steps to the garden fence. Twenty four steps along the garden fence, turn right, twenty nine steps along the fence to the chicken house door.
Sarnie loved to count. Mama was always saying, ”Hurry up with those chores Sarnie, and quit your counting!”
Papa would just laugh and tell Mama, “ Leave the girl alone, she’s going to be an accountant, some day. And then she will need to count!” And then he would laugh great belly laughs.
Sarnie counted the eggs she gathered every day. Sometimes there were seven and sometimes there were ten. She figured the chickens counted too, because they stood and watched as she pulled the eggs from the nest, cooing as she counted each one. Today there were ten.
Sarnie counted the chickens as she fed and watered them and then opened the chicken house door. The snow was falling harder now. There were too many snowflakes falling to count. She could barely see the garden fence. She looked around in the falling snow. She couldn’t see her house. She had dawdled too long.
“Mama?” Sarnie yelled, hoping Mama would be standing on the doorstep, waiting for Sarnie. “Papa?” Sarnie cried, but the sound just absorbed into the falling snowflakes. And all she heard was silence.
Sarnie began to get scared. How would she get back to the house in this blizzard? She was getting cold. She could stay with the chickens and wait for Papa or Mama to come find her, but she wanted to be with Mama and Papa now. The house was only steps away. She knew she had counted them. Then Sarnie grinned. She would count her steps home along the garden fence. Twenty nine steps from the chicken house. Sarnie could hear her voice counting in the muffled silence. Turn left. The snow was sticking to her face and coat. Twenty four steps home.
Sarnie could hear Papa calling, “Sarnie, where are you?” as she counted closer to home.
“Papa!” Sarnie yelled as she ran into Papa’s waiting arms. “I made it. I counted!
Papa hugged Sarnie and twirled her in circles in the thick falling snow. He laughed, great belly laughs as the snow stuck to their faces.
“You sure did Sarnie!” he smiled. “ Thank God, you counted!”