And as she parted, the witch looked back and said: "Seven times seven times seven years of cold and frozen air and earth, and rafts of ice I leave for you. With naught that moves nor does more than glint in the sun -- for the beasts and the plants will be frozen through."
And the cold winds came and all froze, save one thing that the witch had forgotten, the sound of laughter. And for those years it was the sound of laughter in that frozen world that rang as a promise that someday the water and the rain and the warmth of the sun would return.
"While there is laughter," said the prince, "this ice means nothing."