The Great Sled Race.

I’m getting tired of winter, aren’t you?  Sometimes it’s not so bad, I guess.  Like last week, when my dad took me sledding. We’ve been waiting all year, but there wasn’t enough snow until a few weeks ago. The problem was that there was too much snow! The roads were all closed, and we couldn’t go anywhere! Last week, though, there was just the right amount of snow, so we jumped in the car and drove out to a park in the country.

At the bottom of the hill, they have a shed filled with sleds of all shapes and sizes that people can borrow. There are round saucer sleds, small plastic sleds, sleds with metal runners, sleds you can stand on, snow tubes and many more.  Since dad and I were sledding together we chose the old-fashioned wooden toboggan.  You know the type that lays flat on the ground and the front curves up.

Next to the shed is a long rope that wraps around two wheels. One at the top of the hill, and one at the bottom. The wheel at the bottom turns and moves the rope. Dad and I sat down on the sled and grabbed onto the rope. The rope pulled us all the way to the top of the hill, so we didn’t have to walk.

When we got to the top, there were a lot of people there! One of them was a boy a little older and a lot bigger than me. He ran from person to person “Race me!”.  But nobody wanted to.

His voice got louder and louder, but still nobody took him up on his challenge. I looked up at my dad and he smiled back. “We’ll race you!”

But you’re a girl?” He said.

“So?” I answered. “That doesn’t matter.”

“Of course, it does!” He said back, “everybody knows that girls can’t race.  They always lose.”

“This girl doesn’t.” I stepped up and stared up to his face. “I bet I can beat you.”

“You’re On!” He went to one side, and we went to the other.

“Kris,” my dad whispered to me. “With both of us on the sled it will go slower. Do you want to go by yourself, and I’ll wait for you up here?”

“Thanks, dad!” I sat down on the sled and inched it forward until it teetered on the edge. “I’m ready!”

“I’m ready too!” the boy shouted.

“I’ll count you off.” Dad said.  “3… 2… 1… Go!”

I pushed off and leaned forward, the sled tipped over the edge and started flying down the hill. I looked at the boy. He was ahead of me, but not by much. I let go of the handles and padded through the snow to speed up.

The wind got stronger and stronger and blew snowflakes at ice pellets at my face until I had to squint my eyes. I looked at the boy again and we were even. Ahead of me, a bump rose up out of the snow. I was headed right for it and as fast as I was going, I couldn’t steer enough to get around.

“Watch out!” The boy yelled, but it was too late.

My sled slammed into the hill and suddenly I was flying. All I could do was hold on tight and hope I came back down again. I closed my eyes. I didn’t want to look. I was going to crash.

I came back down, with the sled still under me. I was going even faster than I was before. Too fast to look around. Too fast to do anything but hold on. At the bottom of the hill bales of hay were stacked in front of a tall fence. I was going to slam into the wall of hay.

I stuck my feet out the sides of the sled and slammed them into the ground. Waves of snow erupted from the ground and flew everywhere until I felt like I was underwater.  Then I stopped.

The snow fell out of the air and the wall of hay was just inches from the front of my toboggan.

“Are you ok?” I turned around and saw the boy running towards me.

“I’m fine, I think.” I stood up and shook the snow out of my hair.

“I thought you were a goner for sure! I’ve never seen anyone sled so fast!”

I’d never gone that fast before either and I told him so. “My name is Kris.”

“Well, Kris, you beat me fair and square.  My name is James.” He did have a very nice smile. “Want to go again?”

“Can we go a lot slower this time?”

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