Snowman kicked down in Jasper, neighbours upset

·3 min read

Rebekah Coxe and her daughter Arielle got creative with the abundance of snow that fell in mid-October.

In the early afternoon of Oct. 16 at the Yellowhead Apartment complex, the pair scooped up handfuls of snow and built a snowman.

"We used rocks for the eyes and buttons, and sticks for the arms," Coxe said. "We put it right by the door. The face was (pointed toward) our door, just to make people smile."

Julie Carr, who lives in the complex too, said she saw them working together as she left for work.

"It was a breath of fresh air to see that - to see mother and daughter build a snowman, carefree, letting kids be kids," Carr said.

But when Carr arrived home from work in the early morning hours the next day though, she saw a sad sight.

"It was absolutely destroyed - half the body was on the ground,” she said. “It's so disheartening."

Before she went inside, Carr picked up the pieces to return it to its original structure, as much as possible. She even went to her apartment and got a toque to put on the snowman.

"I thought the daughter might like it," she said.

Carr wrote a small sign, 'Let It Snow' and hung in on one of the repaired snowman's arms.

"I wanted to protect the child from the feeling of despair and hopelessness in people," she said. "(When) you're a child, you shouldn't be exposed to that. I wanted to protect her from the feeling that I had when I discovered what had been done."

Carr said the damage was done by a person.

"There were no animal tracks or any evidence of animal activity," she said. "There would be no apparent reason for an animal to come in and target the snowman, to feel threatened to attack it."

"Jasper National Park is such a beautiful place to live," Carr said.

The harsh action "goes against what we believe as a community, the values we have".

Carr did her best to repair the snowman, but Coxe and her daughter saw the damage when they left for school later that morning.

"There was a big boot print in it. It was kicked in the centre snowball and the top half was kicked off," Coxe said.

When four-year-old Arielle caught sight of it, Coxe said, she got pretty upset and started crying.

“I was a little bit upset,” Coxe said. “It's 'Why do this to a little kid? Don't ruin a kid's spirit.’"

They had to return to their apartment to get a few more items and Rebekah wrote a note: "To whoever kicked down our snowman… You broke my daughters heart… Thanks... Get in the spirit." and taped it to the snowman's arm.

Arielle is feeling better about it now, Coxe said.

"I told her it might melt, and that we might build a new one. She still does ask who kicked her snowman down,” she said.

Rebekah implored whoever did it, "Don't take the happiness from a little kid. It was hard work for her to build it and we just built it to make people smile."

Joanne McQuarrie, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh