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Sunday Afternoon At The Pond This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Learning something for the first time can be quite comical and a bit trying. Usually we learn things like ice skating and bike riding at a young age. I, for some unknown reason, learned many things late. It wasn't because of my lack of grey matter; it was, I guess, my parents' fault.

I was seven, and I remember the January afternoon as cold and grey. Snow that resembled marshmallow puffs was floating to the ground outside. I walked down to the local pond, now frozen over, with my father and brother. They were excited because I was going to learn to skate. I have too much of my mother in me, for I hate the cold and despise getting out to do things, especially when those things are physical. I played along with my brother and father, pretending I was excited.

We reached the pond and sat on a medium-sized boulder to tie our skates on. Actually, to be a bit more accurate, my brother and I sat while my father put our skates on our feet, for none could tie a skate tighter than he - believe me, my ankles will testify to that truth! Before getting out onto the pond, we had to jump a hole on the edge near the shore and this only increased my nervousness. I got onto the ice, and realized that one cannot stand up with skates on, or at least this one couldn't. I found myself on the hard ice again and again every time I tried to get up.

My father and brother, who had abandoned me to skate the far reaches of the crowded pond, finally returned to help the distressed seven-year-old who was trying to stand up. They helped me up and, like a fawn taking his first steps, I struggled out onto the pond. Both of my hands were held up so that I couldn't fall. Unfortunately, my father and brother didn't realize that when I did slip my arm sockets would burn with pain as they held me by my wrists. I yelped and they dropped me to the ice and abandoned me again.

I sat there in the middle of the pond, feeling isolated. Twenty feet away there was a herd of tall boys playing a ridiculous game with sticks with the ferocity of tigers, the speed of cheetahs, and the intelligence of oxen, and all of the other skaters were avoiding the middle. I was just starting to wonder why they were avoiding the middle, when a flat, black, circular object whizzed by where I sat. I watched it as it slowed to a stop a few feet away. I turned just in time to see a herd of red-faced animals charging towards me. I quickly crawled aside to safety as the pack of savages skated past. In no more than a few minutes, the black circular object was back, but this time I stopped it and put it in my jacket. All the boys simultaneously skidded to a halt in front of me, showering me with crystals of ice and snow, and inquired as to the whereabouts of their puck. I looked at them dumbly, for I had no idea what a puck was. I guess I lead a sheltered life. The animals looked as if they were getting restless and my father skated up just in time to rescue me. He carried me back to the shore, and we walked home after replacing our boots.

I never did learn to skate, and up until I was 12, I never went on the ice without my boots on. I must admit that there is a positive side to this story: I still have the puck. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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SarahNearol said...
Apr. 12, 2009 at 6:10 am
Nice. I love the descriptions and the comedy that you took the puck and still have it to this day. Histarical, comical, and perfect. Glorius job!
 
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