inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. when i was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. he would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it, the two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. the penguin was alone in there, i thought, and i worried for him. when i told my father this, he said, "don't worry susie, he has a nice life. he's trapped in a perfect world."
from the lovely bones by alice sebold