There was once a girl named Winter who had no heart. Everywhere she went things died. Trees died, flowers died, animals froze. Birds didn’t die but many of them flew far, far away from her. Winter didn’t know how to be any different. For as long as she could remember this was always just the way she was: cold, heartless and frozen. She was like the Tin Man but a million times worse. She traveled all around the world, covering it with frost and ice. One day, when she was traveling somewhere far up North, being especially bitter and cold, she came across a witch brewing a spell in her cauldron outside in the snow. The witch didn’t seem cold at all.

“How is it that you are not cold?” Winter asked, taking offense.

The witch beckoned her to lean in closer, as if she had a deep, dark secret to tell her. And she did.

“I eat beating hearts to keep me warm.”

Winter smiled. This pleased her immensely and she wondered what superpowers she might gain from consuming beating hearts. Would she gain extra strength? Longevity? Coldness? Would she be able to cover the whole world in snow all at once?

She immediately set out to find a beating heart. Her victim was a tiny bird and she didn’t even hesitate. She swallowed with the same greed as a child does candy. But what happened next was completely unexpected. Winter didn’t gain any superpowers. She didn’t become colder or crueler in any way. Instead Winter began to panic, because suddenly she felt warm. Because suddenly, she was melting. She wasn’t gaining any superpowers at all, instead she was losing them all.

And soon enough flowers were blooming and the animals were playing games. Soon enough the grass was green and the birds were singing, beautifully loud and crystal clear. They sang in honor of the bird who had lost its heart. In honor of the bird who had helped give birth to Spring.

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