The basic plot that is common to all of the stories is that a husband has been away from his wife for a long absence. Upon returning, he finds that she has mysteriously had a son. The length of the husband's absence makes it virtually impossible for him to be the father. When questioned, the wife gives a divine explanation for the boy, generally to the effect that she ingested frozen water in some form and thus became pregnant with a miraculous snow child. Other versions omitted the snow, had rather longer absences, and way wilder explanations for the bonus mystery child.