It's all fun and games until a snowman gets murdered. While plenty of snowmen were enjoying quiet evenings in courtyards across campus last night, the same cannot be said for Franklin, a brand new, Quidditch-playing, Quincy House resident created by Catherine G. Katz '13 and a friend. The poor guy met his untimely end shortly after midnight, when two unidentified miscreants entered the Quincy courtyard and gave the defenseless snowman a ninja-kick to the stomach.

"The thing I love about snow is that it brings out everyone's inner child," said Katz. "Apparently, it also brings out the inner second-grade bully." Reflecting on happier times, Katz recalled how Franklin, equipped with a broom and a snitch, had achieved instant popularity among stressed-out students upon his appearance in the Quincy courtyard. "[Students] would see the snowman, smile, stop, take a picture, and head inside, happier than they had been before coming into the courtyard." But shortly after midnight, the evening took a turn when two girls entered the courtyard and spotted innocent Franklin.

"They ran over, kicked him dead in the stomach area, laughed, and ran away, laughing the whole time," said Katz, who was drinking hot chocolate with her friend in the dining hall when she witnessed the scene.

"We were really appalled," she said. Katz and her friend were not the only ones upset by the cruel act of violence committed against Franklin. "It created a little bit of a public outcry in the dining hall," said Katz, noting that she was encouraged to send her story to Flyby by a fellow onlooker. Although Katz acknowledged that some people may consider making snowmen to be a childish activity, she expressed concern that Franklin's death "speaks to a larger issue of people not being very kind."

"There are happy people, and there are other people who are unhappy," she said. "What is it inside people that makes them so unhappy that they want to attack innocent and happy things like snowmen?"