Twas the nights before Christmas, when all through the White House, not a creature was stirring except creepy-looking snowmen who were sliding closer and closer to the US President.
This wasn't just a nightmare for Barack Obama (who has an irrational fear of snowmen) - it was real.
The President, who is serving out the last days of his term, was pranked with the icy figures with dotted Halloween-style smiles by White House staff last Saturday (Dec 17) before he flew to Hawaii for his Christmas vacation.
After placing four snowmen in the Rose Garden three weeks ago, they joked about moving them "a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed", wrote chief official White House photographer Pete Souza on his Instagram page.
He and his colleagues wanted to see if the snowmen would freak Mr Obama out after he revealed he has a phobia of snowmen in a recent interview with People magazine.
"There's a whole kind of Chucky element to them. They're a little creepy," he told the publication.
Sometimes you gotta have fun. For the past three weeks, there have been four snowmen on display in the Rose Garden (see photo in earlier post). We've been joking that we should move the snowmen a few feet closer to the Oval Office every day to see if anyone noticed. Then we realized the snowmen were too heavy to easily lift. But finally this morning before the President came to the office, some helpful staff--I won't say who--moved all the snowmen so each one was peeking through a different window into the Oval. This photo was taken this afternoon as the President signed end-of-the-year bills.
When First Lady Michelle joked about displaying one in their bedroom, Obama said he would move out if he saw one there.
Souza said "some helpful staff" moved the heavy snowmen much closer to the Oval Office, with each one peeking through a different window into Obama's office before he stepped in last Saturday (Dec 17).
Then a picture of a snowman looking over the president with the caption "do you want to build a snowman?" emerged on the official White House Instagram account.
Did the President get a good scare?
A photo shows a delighted Obama in laughter instead, but with raising hands that suggest 'please stay away from me' .
Yes, "he enjoyed the prank", said Souza in an Instagram post.
When Obama leaves the White House on Jan 20 after two eventful terms of presidency, he will take with him a huge store of memories. One of which, sinister-looking snowmen watching him sign year-end bills in the Oval Office.
Read also: The Obamas will move into a mansion in Washington after leaving White House