The Snow King
SEEMS familiar, doesn’t it? Well, that’s because it’s the title of a fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson called The Snow Queen, which recently was adapted into a Disney animated film called Frozen.
Now this is not a fairy tale about a prince who can freeze things and make it snow in July. This is about me and my experience sledding!
About a week ago, it snowed so much that school was cancelled and I went up to Highland Park to go sledding. Up on the hills were dozens and dozens of kids and adults sledding down the hill, going across the walkway and further down the slope to the baseball field.
“So what am I supposed to do if I don’t have a sled?” I asked my dad.
“Just ask one of your friends,” my dad said.
We continued walking until we were up, what I call, “Bear Hill”. I call it Bear Hill because when I was little, I used to think bears lived up there. Anyway, after we were up at the top of Bear Hill, I saw several of my friends.
“Hi J’ziah,” Bri said as I grabbed onto a branch, climbing my way up the hill (or what I thought was a branch.) YOUCH! A thorn bush. Great, I had to climb this bullucious (which is a Trinidadian word for “big”) hill and now I was bleeding within my glove… what a wonderful world.
After a couple of more steps, I was finally at the top of Bear Hill. I looked down and saw tiny little M&Ms in an ocean of milk, which in normal translation is people walking through the snow. Lining up behind others were kids holding saucers, sleds and even a snowboard. I see my friends Zach and Jack (and no, they aren’t twins), Jae and the two King boys.
I greeted some of them but for the most part, I was looking for a sled. Then, Mr. Gochenaur said to me, “Hey Josiah,” (he always says my name wrong) “would you like to ride on the toboggan?”
Uh yes! I was thinking, but I didn’t know who else would ride.
“C’mon Jum, let’s go!” said my friend Ave. I shrugged but got on with Ave in the front, Mr. G and I as the rudder. Mr. Schwartz was telling Ave how to steer since he was in the front. I kind of zoned out. Man that hill is big… maybe I should go on the toboggan lat─
The sled lurched forward and flew down the hill.
Bump, we went down the hill, faster and faster until we drove through the walkway. Finally for the slope. Snow, snow, so much snow flew in the wind at my face, burned my cheeks with an icy chill. It was so bright and blinding that I couldn’t see where we were going! We suddenly stopped and saw how long our trail was.
It was far! Probably the farthest of them all! It took a while for us to climb Bear Hill again, but when we reached the top, I knew that I could sled as good as any kid, even if there were three of us that went down.
I took a purple plastic sled-even though as a precaution Josh told me they were slightly dangerous-and placed the sled at the top of the hill. Mr. Schwartz held the sled from sliding down the hill and told me how to steer.
“To go left, you use your hand to push left, to go right, use your right hand. Got it?”
I hadn’t fully understood everything, but hey, I’m thirteen and didn’t want to act like a four year old. I nodded and before I could say “talliho!” I was off. I sped down the hill faster than a bullet train and before I knew it I was steering near a tree! I quickly brought my knees together and turned to the side.
My leg hit against the tree like a hammer to a nail. I sprawled over the sled and landed on my back! OOF! I laid on the hillside, hurt.
My leg hurt.
My arm ached.
And my stomach didn’t feel good either
I can hear several friends calling me:
“You okay Jum?”
“You okay? Can you get up?”
“Are you hurt?”
I get up and nodded slightly and climb up the hill again. I looked back to see my progress.
I hadn’t even got down Bear Hill.
With the body and feelings hurt, I stood on the hill and watched my friends go down. After a few minutes of healing, I finally decided something: I was going to try again. I got another sled and tried again; this time I ran into another tree but this time it was further down the hill. Progress!
But I hadn’t seen it that way then. I was sad and upset. Then my dad grabbed the sled and went to the next hill, the one I call Kiddie Hill. It was smaller than Bear Hill and safer. Most of those kids were four or six years old.
“Dad! I don’t wanna go down the kid’s hill,” I whined.
“Joziah, if you want to learn how to sled right, you’re gonna have to practice,” he said. He dragged the sled up the hill and placed it at the toe of his boot. I reluctantly walked up the hill and got on the sled.
“But, Dad, what if I dont-”
Speeding down the hill, I heard my dad say, “Watch out, Jo. Steer with your hands!”
A woman and a girl were standing in my way. I see an opening for the walkway on my left and stick my hand on the left-hand side. I go left and miss them by “that much” and slid onto the walkway.
Dad yells, “Good job, Jo! Now try it again.”
Again? I groan. I get off the sled and drag it back up the hill. Dad holds it with his foot and I get back on.
“But Dad, what about that kid down there?”
“What about him?”
“What if I hit him on my way down?”
My Dad laughed and shook his head. “C’mon Jo, just go down the hill.”
And again I was sent flying into the snow. This time I turned too sharply to the left to avoid the kid I was talking about. I flipped over the sled and spun in midair! I landed on my back and laid in the white snow, stained with my blood… Okay, not really blood just maybe drool.
I climbed Kiddie Hill again, and gave the sled back to my dad.
“Dad, I can’t do it,” I said to him.
“Yes, you can. Now let’s do it one more time,” he said.
Once again I climbed into the sled and was sent down the hill. But, this time I made sure that when I wanted to go right, I went right. And when I stopped right at the walkway and turned to my dad to give him a “thumbs up”, I was smiling. I had became the King of the Hill!
Maybe, I didn’t become King of Bear Hill, but I also conquered my fears of heights, speed and just being scared.
Now that I’ve been “crowned” King of Kiddie Hill, I can’t wait till my next snowfall!