This tale, found in A Few More Winter Tales, is more of the sad and sorrowful ‘A Christmas Carol’ sort, and it, too features a ghost. It begins with a Midwife, Kelby, calling for a bone collector, Rusalka, to come to her village and deal with a man who is wandering about in spirit form among the snow.
Tonally, this one struck me as an excellent story to mention close to Hallowe’en (especially in Ottawa, Canada, where the snow has shown up on Hallowe’en more times than I’d like), so you get two holidays for one with this one.
The interplay between the two women as Rusalka gathers what she needs to set a spirit to rest, and Kelby slowly warms to her company and opens up, is offset by letters Kelby is writing to her mother, who—it seems—never writes back. It’s a soft tale of pain and healing, and the revelations and resolution left me warmed despite the snowy setting of the tale.