The yard stretched out before me, a barren wasteland of snow and ice. Shadows were gathering in the late afternoon gloaming beneath low grey clouds laden with snow. Tears freezing on my cheeks, I let out another wail.
No good. I could see the flickering of the TV in the living room and knew that Daddy was watching Buck Rogers from his yellow recliner. I couldn’t see her, but figured that Mummy must be upstairs with the baby. They were all warm and dry inside and couldn’t hear me.
I looked back down at the tangled mess I had so quickly become snared in. I’d been so excited to get these skis for Christmas and even more excited when Mummy let me use them out in the backyard all by myself. But that feeling didn’t last long. About as long as it took me to take one stride and fall over. I was not gliding gracefully over the snow as I had thought I would be. I was completely hobbled; the straps of the red plastic skis had wrapped so tightly around my boots in my struggles to get up that now I was trapped, lying in a heap in the snow. Mummy and Daddy couldn’t hear me from the house. We had a big wooden fence enclosing our yard, so I was sure no one else was ever going to see me either. I thought that I just might die out here. The first recorded death of a four year old in a skiing accident.
I tried again to get to my feet and managed only to further cut off the circulation to my left foot. Frustration and anger set in quickly then. I crawled, screaming and crying, towards the deck. It seemed such a long way off. I struggled across the yard, inch by inch, cursing the stupid plastic skis with their deep snow-catching grooves with as many bad words as I could remember. I was sweating and had snot joining the tears on my cheeks when I finally reached the few steps that led up to the deck. Insult added to injury – the stupid skis got caught on the steps and tripped me up onto the hard wood.
Now that I was close to the back patio doors, my screams finally caught Mummy’s attention. She untangled me, brought me inside and gave me a hot bath.
The skis got to stay outside. They never graced my feet again.