HANNAH: That girl is useless. Should have been back by now to see to the animals. Walk’s not that far. One would think I’d raised her better than to go wandering off without so much as remembering she needs to come back. (Throwing slop from a bucket into the pig trough, fully concentrating and not noticing Jack sitting on the pig pen fence.)
JACK: The piper’s children are slow to return.
HANNAH: (Glances at him) Piper’s children? Mari ain’t no piper’s child and watch out for them pigs, they bite sometime.
JACK: That’s life, darling. Most things bite.
HANNAH: (Puts down her bucket) What do you want, Jack?
JACK: (Brightening) You remember me.
HANNAH: Everyone knows of you. You live in these woods, you have to.
JACK: Your daughter didn’t.
HANNAH: (Pauses) How do you know my Mari?
JACK: Everyone knows of you, you live in these woods you have to.
HANNAH: She never made it to my mother’s, did she?
JACK: Not quite, darling. Not quite. She ran into the Father’s herald and he, well, convinced her it would be rude to not accept his invitation to see his latest works of ice.
HANNAH: So you’ve got her.
JACK: (Calmly) In a manner of speaking, yes.
HANNAH: Give her back!
JACK: (Slides off the fence) Now, Hannah, wouldn’t want you to forget what happens when something’s demanded of me. And so rudely, too.
HANNAH: You know I’ve never been anything but kind to you, Jack. I have been since I first met you.
JACK: Rather unfortunate that was, you getting turned out and all that. And in the coldest part of winter, too. Dear, if you hadn’t been found by a certain someone, well, things might have turned out differently.
HANNAH: I know that.
JACK: Good, then you’ll remember to keep a handle on your tongue.
HANNAH: (Tiredly) What do you want with her, Jack?
JACK: I don’t quite know yet. Give me some time, there’s a dear.
HANNAH: What do you want with her, Jack?
JACK: (Peevish) I don’t know yet, Hannah. I don’t. Maybe I want her company, maybe her opinion on where to hang my newest sculpture? In the dining room or the front hall, next to that statue that looks remarkably like/
JACK: (Walking to her, leaning in close) Don’t what?
HANNAH: Don’t bring her into this.
JACK: She has a name, dear.
HANNAH: Don’t – Don’t bring Megan into this.
JACK: (Caressing her cheek) Was that so hard? It was, wasn’t it? But I don’t understand why. You never liked your step-sister, did you, Hannah? And when your step-mother send you out into the cold, alone and defenseless, she never expected you to return, much less endowed like a queen. So she sent her own daughter out, hoping to reap the rewards, and then what happened, hm? Rude, selfish, she was a nasty girl, wasn’t she, Hannah? And when she met me, well, I wouldn’t put up with it. I made her body match the cold heart she already had, didn’t I? And your step-mother, oh how she wept and wept when her daughter didn’t return, and the temperature dropped and it grew dark. No one came looking for her, so I kept her. And you – You were secretly happy weren’t you? Megan was gone and you moved away, met a man, and had only one child. And moved here. Where is your dowry, Hannah? Where is your legacy?
HANNAH: It’s set aside for Mari. When she marries.
JACK: If she marries, you mean.
HANNAH: Shut up.
JACK: Manners, darling.
HANNAH: Jack, if there was anyone who could get away with telling you to stuff it, it would be me and mine.
JACK: Eh. You’re grasping, Hannah.
HANNAH: And you’ve attempted to fall for a human, unless I’m mistaken.
JACK: (Peeved) Shut up.
HANNAH: (Placidly) Manners, Jack. And admit it; that’s why you took Mari. Because you liked her.
JACK: She reminds me of the piper’s children.
HANNAH: Jack, every child reminds you of the piper’s children.
JACK: She stays with me until I’m done with her.
HANNAH: If you harm one hair on that girl’s head, I’ll/
JACK: You’ll what, Hannah? You will what? You forget too easily who and what I am. What I can do and what I can take. You daughter will do for now, but you might want to start sleeping with the pigs, as you never know when a cold snap might crop up. Wouldn’t want them to freeze, would we? (Leans in close again) Do not forget, Hannah. You are human. I am something entirely different. (Kisses her cheek and strides off, mixing with the snowflakes as he does so)
HANNAH: If ever a child should have been stole, there was one. (Looks to the sky) Watch my daughter, Father. Jack Frost can’t be trusted with a warm heart, even one that’s begun to melt his own.