yard to feast on the tart red apples that drop
from the trees. Although both “fowl” can become a nuisance when their increasing
numbers aren’t controlled, the geese offer more to my aesthetic sensibilities.
I thoroughly enjoyed the annual visits of my Mitnick grandparents. On one particular
visit, their presence was providential. We lived near a pond that froze during the winter
months, enabling me to pretend I was ice skating. One day, my best friend Lynne and I
were outside playing, and the pond looked particularly inviting. We decided it would be
great fun to walk all the way across the pond and back again. We joined hands and
proceeded to amble slowly across the ice, giggling and sliding with our boots on the slick
surface. We were near the middle of the pond when the ice snapped underfoot, then
cracked with the sharp sound of gun fire and finally broke with our weight. In a flash, we
both slipped into the frigid water. Scrambling to grasp hold of the edge of the ice above
us, our efforts resulted in nothing but the breaking off of the ice into handheld fragments.
We were too young and too frightened to scream for help. We just kept flapping our arms
like they were flippers on zoo seals.
My grandfather Mitnick had been outdoors for a walk, heard our giggles and laughter,
and watched as we glided on the ice.
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