It was a chilly winter day, and a clear, thick coating of ice covered everything in sight. I was standing on the front porch, looking a little anxiously at the slippery steps. --I was never the type of child who enjoyed dangerous things, unlike my brother, who that moment commanded my attention by whooping delightedly while taking a running start at the giant slide that was our steep driveway. As I watched him shoot down surfer-style towards the street, I could not help but wonder how he could not be afraid of falling.
Daddy came out of the house just then, bearing two trekking poles. He offered one to me, and kept the other for himself, since my brother had loudly proclaimed that he neither wanted nor needed one.
So, off we set down the icy sidewalk. I don't remember now where we were going that day, but there were only a handful of places we liked to walk to when there was snow or ice, and from the little bit I remember, it seems to me that we must have been headed to the harp shop.
We made our way down the glazed sidewalk of the busy street, with cars zooming by in what seemed to me a most reckless fashion. Daddy and I slid a little once or twice, but otherwise our trip to the store was uneventful. On the way home, however, we had to hurry to cross a busy street (trying not to fall over in the process). In that particular part of the city the "wheelchair ramps" for the crosswalks were abnormally steep, and as I stepped onto the curb I lost my footing and fell, sliding rapidly toward the line of traffic zooming past! Thankfully, Daddy had his trekking pole, which he drove into the ice by my hand just in time for me to catch it, saving me from almost certain death. (Or so it seemed to me.)
My brother still can't figure out how I managed to fall...