Week 1 (Oct 1-7): The Garden

September 8, 2008

Oct 01, How It All Begin: Read the story of the Snow Queen aloud, up until the point where Gerda and Bae (the reindeer) are approaching the Snow Queen’s palace. Unlike in Hans Christian Anderson’s story, Bae does not leave Gerda to face the palace alone, but comes with her. You can either read Anderson’s original (if you speak Danish), the abridged English version included with the calendar, or a version of your own choosing.

Oct 02, The Prince Misplaces the Mirror: This chapter involves the new Snow Prince, Kay, losing the frame that formerly held the Troll’s Mirror, before it shattered into a million pieces, worming into the hearts and eyes of various creatures. Somehow, he loses possession of the frame and it ends up in the bottom of the icy pond that lies in the center of the Snow Queen’s garden. Determine how this happens.

Oct 03, Into the Garden: In this chapter, Gerda sneaks into the Snow Queen’s garden, circumventing the high garden wall and the gatehouse guarded by a stubborn emperor penguin. Determine how she does this. Additionally, she has to find a way for Bae to sneak inside as well, but he’s much bigger and less good at sneaking. In the end, she succeeds. Determine how.

Oct 04, Through the Garden: On the way through the garden, towards the palace, Gerda and Bae have to sneak past or overcome a number of obstacles — garden sculptures that come to life, watchful arctic wolves, beautiful snow flowers that sing a hypnotic song, an enormous hedge maze with many twisting passages, and whatever else you concoct — but ultimately they make it through and arrive at the end of the pond. Determine how.

Oct 05, The Garden Ambush: Gerda and Bae catch sight of the mirror at the bottom of the pond. Armed snowflakes drop from the sky, surrounding them, accompanied by the Snow Queen’s lieutenant, Shiver. They exchange angry words, but Bae and Gerda fight off the snowflakes. Determine how. Shiver uses his powers to bury Gerda and Bae in snow, but a beaver leaps from the pond and grabs Gerda, swimming away with her. Gerda passes out from the cold of the water.

Oct 06, Beneath the Dam: Gerda awakes wrapped in warm blankets in the beaver’s den. The beaver, Agnes, introduces Gerda to her family and apologizes for not being able to save Bae, who was captured by Shiver. They share a meal. The beavers give Gerda the frame of the Troll’s Mirror, which they recovered from the pond. They do not know how to unlock the frame’s power, but they suggest that Gerda ask the owl in the morning. They all go to sleep.

Oct 07, The Old Oak: The beavers usher Gerda across the garden to the Old Oak, an enormous half-dead tree. They are frightened of the owl, who is known to eat beavers on occasion, so Gerda must climb up the tree and explore it’s hollowed-out interior by herself. Along the way, she meets various insects, birds, and other creatures that make their home there. This chapter ends with her arriving at the owl’s nest. Though the owl is huge and frightening, he invites Gerda in for tea.

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