I. It was the eve of the winter festival, and snow blanketed the land. Children sat around warm fires, speaking with eager joy of the presents they hoped to receive on the morrow. But no festive cheer lay in the breast of Rickolar the mage. He gazed from his window with an icy heart, and plotted misery for the townsfolk.
II. That morning a child had hurled a snowball at Rickolar, knocking his hat into a pile of manure left by a passing horse. He had seized her, to beat her with his cane. But the other children had come to her rescue, driving him away with a volley of snowy missiles. And though he had longed to immolate them with a fireball, he feared the hangman's noose.
III. "Bah, humbug!" Rickolar cried, the words of an ancient spell. He would have his revenge, and claim the lives of the children who had invoked his wrath. But he would do it from the shadows. For his spell brought life to the snowmen that dotted the town. They would serve as his cold, vengeful hands.
IV. But alas for the bitter mage, the winter festival had its own magic. Each snowman had been made with loving care by the town's children, and their merry spirits had seeped into one and all. So they did not seek out those children, and spill their blood. Instead they made for Rickolar's tower, and hurled the mage from his study window.
V. As the townsfolk gathered in the street around the mage's corpse, one of the snowmen appeared above, on the roof of the tower. He revealed Rickolar's plot, and the justice which had befallen him. So the people cheered, and from that day forth they wore costumes each winter festival, in honor of the snowmen.