-Greedy Snow Imp-

written by Eilieh

Once upon a time, in a land of snow, there lived a greedy Snow Imp. This Imp had all the treasures and wealth in the world, but his most treasured possession was a magic pouch that could duplicate any item. Unfortunately, the greedy Imp kept all the treasures to himself and always wanted more.

There was also a beautiful girl who lived in a hut around the area. She always carried around a piece of jewelry that meant dear to her: a pair of earrings she received from her fiance, who was then away. She treasured the ear rings so much that one day she started to keep it in a safe place. The Imp saw how much those earrings meant to this girl. At first, it didn't seem to matter to him, but as time passed, the fact that she really treasured those earrings deeply bothered him.

"It's neither expensive nor rare. Why is she so in love with it...?"
The Imp could not understand. He concluded that the earrings, though plain on the outside, must have something valuable inside. The greedy little Imp couldn't stand that he didn't have one and began eyeing the earrings.

Then one day, the young lady accidentally dropped the earrings on the ground. Just then, the Imp who was following her, quickly stole it and took off. To avoid getting caught, the Imp ran deep into the forest. He then made a bunch of snowmen and hid inside one of them. A snowman is a place Snow Imps usually stayed. The girl didn't see the Imp take her earrings. She frantically looked for the earrings where she had dropped it but could not find it.

She wanted to find the earrings before her fiance came back from his trip. Desperately, she went to visit the owl, who was known to be a sage of the forest. There is nothing that happens in the forest that the owl isn't aware of, so he knew very well who took her earrings. The owl told the young lady.

"The greedy little Snow Imp took your earrings. However, if you ever want them back, don't ever say that you want it back."
"How come?"
"The Imp is so greedy that he'll never give up anything that someone else wants. But I do have a good idea."

The girl went to the snowman with a large bat as the owl had instructed. The snowman that the Imp was hiding in had sharp protruding teeth, so it was easy to spot. She swung the bat as hard as she could at the snowman and shouted.

"Oh no, what am I going to do! I lost my precious earrings! There's nothing more precious than those earrings!"

The Imp who was hiding inside was startled. If the snowman breaks, the Snow Imp would be exposed. The Imp tried to calm his racing heart and held on tight to the earrings. The lady hit the snowman again and shouted.

"I need to find it! I'll find it no matter what...even if I have to smash all these snowmen. Where are my earrings!"

The Imp was fearful that his snowman would break, but he couldn't risk running out because of the earrings. The young lady continued to hit the snowman and yelled.

"If I don't find the earrings, he's going to get so upset with me! Only if I had a magic pouch with me! That way I can make a replica so he won't get mad!"

As you know, the Imp's magic pouch can duplicate items. The Imp heard this and asked from inside the snowman.

"Really? You just need a replica of the earrings?"
"Oh my goodness! Di..did you just speak snowman?"
The young lady pretended to be surprised and asked. The Imp spoke again.
"Yes, this is the snowman speaking. Please don't hit me anymore. You said all you need is a replica right?"
"Of course, snowman. Nothing will ever replace the original, but as long as I have a replica, I'll be able to fool my fiance."
"Here, then. Take these."

A pair of earrings that looked exactly like hers came out from the snowman. The Imp had duplicated it from his magic pouch. She was very pleased and picked up the earrings.

"Oh my~ thank you so much snowman! This is perfect! He won't notice at all!"

What the Imp didn't realize was that because the replica was made from the magic pouch, it was a carbon copy of the original one. However, the Imp foolishly believed that his was original and that the other one was fake.

The young lady told her fiance everything when he had returned home. He was amazed and he thought of a clever idea. The two returned to the snowman, each holding a bat. They began swinging the bat at the snowman as they shouted.

"Oh no~, I can't believe we lost the earrings again! If there's only a way we can find a replacement!"

"If not, we'll just have to smash all these snowmen and find it!"

The Imp, of course, quickly duplicated the earrings and threw it out. He was happy as long as he had the "one and only" pair of earrings.

The couple repeated this several times. They ended up with multiple earrings. They sold it and made money. They were able to save enough money and move south, to a warmer place.

However, the greedy little Snow Imp stayed in his snowman, not knowing when they would return to look for their precious earrings again. And if anyone came and knocked on the snowman, he simply threw out a pair of earrings without saying a word. Of course, he never realized that they were the exact same from the original pair.

And so, even till this day, there are many people waiting in line to see the snowman. Every time someone hits it, a pair of earrings fall out. People see this and talk about how the foolish greedy Imp is still holding onto the earrings.