Me and Jake wasn’t going to waste this day off from school. No siree.
Winter only comes ‘round once a year, and great snows like that one last night sure don’t happen often.
The two of us lived near to our school here in town and because it was a city school, we sure didn’t get much time off since all of us had to get there on our own, while the county kids got to ride buses.
But today was special, and the snow was so deep that even teachers didn’t want to get out their galoshes and tramp through knee-deep snow just to put up with a full day of rowdy kids.
Also, in the city, nobody had the job of cleaning snow off the streets. If a person had to drive somewhere, well, that was just tough. DO THE BEST YOU CAN!
So, on our street, which was a nice gentle hill, snow that got crunched down by all them crazy folks who decided to get out and drive anyway, became a nice, slick — and pretty soft — surface to put the ol’ sled through its paces on.
As soon as we could convince our parents that school wasn’t gonna happen and that a full day with us in the house was not in their best interest, we put on our galoshes, ear-flapped caps, and heavy coats — probably left over from last year — and cotton gloves or mittens and headed out to tempt fate… and the few passing cars still tryin’ to get through the snow.
Course, we knew that the first tossed snowball was gonna leave them cotton gloves soaked and that our fingers would sure quick start to feel the cold, but snow and snowballs and snow forts and sledding ain’t to be denied.
Our sleddin’ route was near a full block long, never mind what lay at the end of the run. Our street and hill ended at the bottom at a cross street, and this was gonna present a problem a little later.
Our first runs down that wonderful sleddin’ path were mostly uneventful, and our treks back to the top of the hill only helped to increase the speed of each later run, as we tamped down the snow even more and slickened the surface. Rubbin’ down the sled’s skids with bar soap sure didn’t hurt neither.
On about the tenth or fifteenth run (who’s countin’?), fortune’s smile became a wry grin.
As we came to the bottom of the hill, set to cross that street at the bottom, with the wind settin’ our cap’s ear flaps a‑goin’ like bloodhound’s ears in a windstorm, we realized that our speed was goin’ to carry us right onto the street’s curb on the other side.
Jake was frantically workin’ his feet on the sled’s front crossbar, tryin’ to change direction as much as possible (there ain’t a lot you can do with a sled about to break the ground speed record), but at the last minute when we both screamed “Oh, no” at the same instant, the sled came to an abrupt stop while Jake and me continued on, just like those dead animals you see on cartoons of catapults, coming to rest against a picket fence with arms and legs thrown ever which way against a lot of broke and bent fence slats.
We was both shaking our heads to rid them of the stars going ‘round and ‘round as well as trying to dislodge the snow from under our collars and inside our caps, and checkin’ to make sure we still had on all the clothes we started with as well as all our extremities.
I reckon I was thinking this was probably a good time to go home for a cup of hot chocolate, (and to thaw out my cold fingers and wet cotton gloves), but as Jake regained his sense of speech, all he could come up with was “Oh, boy! That was terrific! Let’s go again, Charlie!”