Sara the Snowy Owl 2003

Sara Finds Love
Sara the Snowy Owl parade
photo by Andy Flynn

Sara The Snowy Owl Fable - 2003

Sara Finds Love

When Sara the Snowy Owl flew into Saranac Lake in 1953, there was something special in the air. She was excited, as always, about her visit to the friendly mountain town of Saranac Lake. Winter Carnival was being held in mid-February, with all kinds of fun, including a nighttime parade through the Village. There is nothing an owl likes better than nighttime activities and with a parade involved, Sara would surely be there, soaring on her wings.

Something else was up, another kind of excitement blew in on that winter carnival wind. Sara was just as excited about the fact that she was going to be in charge of marrying a couple, in front of her Ice Palace home!

Sara had received a letter from a woman named Mardi Enfant. Mardi and her fiance Andrew Ron Dax were planning to be married on February 14, 1953. That was Valentine's Day, a very romantic day indeed. Of course Mardi came from a very romantic family, which is why she had an unusual name.

Mardi's mom, Carol, had met her father, Pierre – a big strong lumberjack, at a Mardi Gras Dance in 1920. Her parents fell in love at that was love at first sight. They 'courted' for two years and were married in the summer of 1923. When the happy couple had their first child, it was a girl and Carol named her Mardi in honor of the night fell she in love with Pierre.

The letter that Sara received told of all that romance and asked the Snowy Owl if she would perform the wedding ceremony. Mardi told how she loved Andy and how they wanted to be married on the last day of Winter Carnival, in front of the Ice Palace.

Sara was excited and wrote back right away. Mardi and Sara exchanged many letters, until they were best friends. In December of 1952, Sara left her home in the Arctic to visit Saranac Lake and meet both Mardi and Andy. She liked them as much in person as she did in letters. She found out that Mardi had gotten the village to give Sara permission to perform the marriage ceremony at Winter Carnival.

Sara arrived early on February 10, so she could spend time with Mardi and Andy. They had a good time, but she could see that Andy was kind of nervous. Even though he dearly wanted to marry Mardi, he was uncomfortable in large crowds. Getting married in front of the Ice Palace, he knew, meant lots of people would be there.

He was right. Many people come from all over the North Country to see the beautiful Ice Place where the Snowy Owl lives. When word spread there was going to be a wedding, too, it created even more excitement. The town planned for more visitors on the afternoon when the great white snowy owl was to perform a marriage ceremony.

That night everyone was thrilled to see a Winter Carnival Parade under the brightly lit street lamps. There was much merriment as the parade traveled under the sparkle street lights in the gentle snowfall. The courtiers sang, and the Winter Carnival King and Queen danced the Hokey Pokey in the street. Snowy soared silently with a big smile beside the parade. It was a bustling winter night. Afterward, Mardi and Andy said good night and went home to get some sleep.

The next day everyone went to the Ice Palace for the big wedding. All the famous people from the parade, the King and Queen, the courtiers and even the famous photographer Kim Smith. When you added in all the family from the bride and groom, you had quite a crowd.

As the Harrietstown Town Hall Clock tower struck two, Mardi was still not there. Everyone was wondering where the bride might be. Andy was upset about waiting as he had been standing on a big block of ice. He was not the first or last groom to get cold feet, but he thought his toes would fall off. He was afraid that Mardi might not show up and all the people standing there would know that his beautiful bride had stood him up with cold feet.

Sara didn't mind waiting because she had insulated feet to kept her warm. She also knew that Mardi would get there and that she was probably late because she was making sure her dress was perfect.

The Snowy Owl fluffed her wings and flew to the top of the Ice Palace. With her keen eyesight she could see that Mardi was in her carriage and on the way. She swooped down and told the large crowd that the blushing bride would arrive in a moment.

The news didn't cheer up the groom. He couldn't understand why Mardi would be late on a special day. Andy got really mad when he found out that part of the reason Mardi was late was because she had stopped to enjoy a view of the wintry Village from Petrova Hill.

Mardi could see that Andy was upset with her when they met at the ice palace steps. They did not speak or even look at each other; they both moped.

Sara saw the two lovebirds were not happy. She knew she had to do something, because she was afraid one or both would say "I don't," when she asked if they wanted to be married.

From beneath her wing she took out a crumpled piece of paper.

"I have a poem to read for our couple, from the famous Adirondack storyteller, Kathleen Errant," Sara said loudly and began to read the poem.

earth*girl dreams

earth*girl is here for you

to enjoy her seasons of fun

from spring to winter

she dresses you in color

every autumn and in

flowers every spring

in summer she paints

the forest green and

winter sparkles white

she is simple in her desire

she does not ask you

to build her a castle

just give her blocks of ice

and she will call it a palace

lay down in the snow

wiggle your legs and arms

and those are her angels

let her wind blow back your hair

and her sun warm your horizons

her days are your visions

her nights are your dreams

earth*girl does not ask you

to change her seasons

just as she knows you

will be you through them all

when you accept earth*girl

for the woman that she is

you inherit the beauty of nature

that is yours forever

Andy looked up from his brooding and saw Mardi smiling at him. Her smile warmed his heart and he completely forgot his cold feet.

"Andy, I stopped and enjoyed the view because I knew from now on, starting today, everything beautiful that I see will be shared with you," Mardi explained.

Andy's smile spread to the edges of his face. He hugged Mardi. He looked at the beaming Snowy Owl and said, "Let us start forever, right now."

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