First Snow This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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Born in China, I had never seen snow before I stepped off the airplane in America. I was nine, still a little girl who didn't know anything about the world.

"Mom, rice is falling from the sky!" I said, thinking, That's why Chinese people think Americans are rich. Mom did not hear me. I wondered, Why isn't anybody picking up the rice?

That night, when my parents were sleeping, I went outside with all the bags I could find thinking that if I filled them with rice, my parents wouldn't have to work hard anymore. I grabbed a handful of rice – it was very cold. I thought, Americans are different from Chinese, so their rice must be different, too.

I put all the bags in my room and fell asleep. I dreamed of how happy my parents would be when they saw the rice. The next morning, my mom woke me. The first thing she said to me was "Why is your room wet? What are these bags filled with water? "

I said, "That is the rice I got from the street." My mom laughed in a funny voice, and said, "That is not rice. That is snow. In America, when the weather gets cold, the rain changes to snow."

Oh! Now I understood why the rice was so cold, and why the Americans did not collect the rice. Oh well, at least I learned a very important lesson about the difference between rice and snow.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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