The Unmatched Snowflake
by Jace Daniel (b. 1969)
There once was a snowflake. It spent most of its life drifting aimlessly in flurry of other snowflakes, happily distracted from the blizzard of questions storming through its mind. One day the snowflake fell upon a snowman.
“Have we met before?” the snowflake asked.
“No,” replied the snowman. “We have not.”
“But,” appealed the snowflake, “I remember meeting you once. You had the same eyes of coal. And the same carrot nose. And the same mouth of buttons.”
“It wasn’t me,” replied the snowman. “Must’ve been another snowman.”
“Oh, but I’m quite sure,” said the snowflake. “You even had that scarf. And that broom. And that hat.”
“You’re mistaken,” explained the snowman. “While you may have seen a snowman that resembled me, it was not exactly like me. The carrot was a slightly different shape. The buttons were a bit larger. The scarf was a different material, or a different color. The hat was a different style, worn by a different man. And the eyes of coal were looking at something else.”
“But I could swear it was you,” the snowflake said, frustrated and confused.
“It couldn’t have been me,” promised the snowman. “Besides, if we have met before, I would’ve remembered you. For, you see, there are no two snowflakes that are exactly alike.”
“No two alike?” questioned the snowflake. “None?” This was something it had never been told.
“None,” echoed the snowman. “Every snowflake is alone. You can search far and wide, for eternity in both directions, and never find another snowflake that perfectly matches you.”
“You mean to tell me,” the snowflake challenged, “That of all the millions of billions of trillions of zillions of snowflakes in the history of snow, there have never, ever, ever been two snowflakes that match perfectly? Ever?”
“That’s correct,” nodded the snowman in his icy cold wisdom. “Nor will there ever be.”
The snowflake pondered the concept for a long while. And another long while. Deep in thought.
“And have you seen each and every one of these millions of billions of trillions of zillions of snowflakes?” the snowflake finally asked.
“Certainly not,” laughed the snowman. “Snow has been around a lot longer than me, and it will be around long after I’m gone.”
The snowflake nodded, unsurprised at the snowman’s answer.
“Then how can you be so sure?”