Vivienne told me about this really groovy place where all the kids go ice-skating, and she wanted to take me there. Ice skating? Hmmm...I love roller skating, but that's easier, 'cos you're balanced on 4 wheels, not a skinny metal blade! I knew I was gonna get out on the ice and fall right on my tushie! But I told her I'd give it a try. She even let me borrow her pretty new skating outfit she got for Christmas! What a neat friend! So we grabbed some skates and walked past the houses and over a hill to this place called Honeywood Farm. We walked over to the pond. I put on the skates and stood up. And fell down, WHAM! Right on my tushie! Just like I figured, only I didn't think it would happen so fast!
Vivienne helped me up and asked if I was OK. I was...sorta. But man, did that hurt! And the ice was COLD! I decided to sit down for a while and watch Vivienne skate. She ice-skates as good as I can roller skate.
I decided that watching was really no fun, so I decided to try again.
This time I stood up slowly, and held the side of the bench until I thought I had my balance. Vivienne told me to try walking on the ice first going from my toe to my heel. I slowly took a step...so far so good, I didn't fall, so I took another step. OK, this wasn't too bad. I made it all the way to the fence without falling down. Vivienne said I should try sliding my feet while I held onto the fence. So I put one hand in the fence, and my other arm out for balance. I slid one foot, and then the other. Not bad. I kept doing this until I felt OK with the sliding. Then Vivienne tells to to slowly take my hand off the fence while I'm sliding. I wasn't sure if I could do it.
"C'mon, Julie...you can do it. You just can't hold onto the fence all day. I'll catch you if you fall."
I whimpered a little, and then I started sliding my feet again. Slowly I took my hand away from the fence, and I didn't fall down! I was actually skating! Outta site!
Vivienne cheered. "Yippee! That's the way, Julie! I knew you could do it!"
And I could! Pretty soon I was skating all over the pond. I almost fell once...but I leaned forward so I could fall on my hands, not my tushie. I didn't want to do that again!
Just look at me go!
Pretty soon, C.J. showed up. He sat on the bench to put on his skates.
And WHAM he fell on his tushie too! At least he was wearing pants!
Vivienne and I helped him up.
"Are you OK, C.J.?". I asked.
"Yeah, I meant to do that." Uh-huh...this was the first time I actually heard him talk. He usually let Kevin do all the talking.
"You better be careful", Vivienne warned. "You're lucky you didn't break your glasses."
"I know. Mom just got them fixed from when I was wrestling with Kevin."
Then he looked at me and said, "I'm really sorry I threw that snowball in your face, Julie. I didn't want to, but it was Kevin's idea. Sometimes when I don't do what he wants, he gives me a noogie. I hate it when he does that."
"Thanks, C.J.", I said. It made me feel almost guilty for wanting to get back at the kid...almost. Just then Kevin came along with a horse pulling a little sleigh.
"Sleigh rides, ten cents!", Kevin shouted. "Only one thin dime!"
"You can't do that", Vivienne told him. "Morgan and the sleigh don't belong to you. Mr. Horst owns them."
"Oooh! What a pretty horse!", I said slowly walking up to it. He looked almost like Cherokee from Springfield Farms back home!
"That's Morgan", C.J. said. "He's the greatest horse in the whole world."
"You guys don't get to ride for free!" Kevin said. "Mr. Horst said I could bring him out."
"He didn't say you could charge money for rides", Vivienne told Kevin. "And if you try it, I'm telling Mr. Horst and your mom. You'll have to get your comic book money someplace else."
"I didn't know you were such a tattletale, Vivienne Walton!"
"And I didn't know you could be so creepy, Kevin Fleagle. Julie's a guest, so she should be the first one to ride."
"Bossy girls". Kevin muttered. Wow...Kevin sure didn't act this way when he visited last summer in Springfield. Maybe he was being extra nice, because he was so far from home. I took off my skates, put on my boots, climbed in the sleigh, and put the blanket over me, while Kevin led me around. Vivienne just smiled.
I wish there was more room so that Vivienne could ride with me. But Kevin and Morgan walked slowly so that Vivienne and C.J. could walk beside us.
"Ok now it's Vivienne's turn, and then after that, me and C.J. are gonna ride", Kevin said. Man was he a grump today! But I was still having fun. I climbed out and Vivienne climbed in, but C.J. was trying to climb in too!
"Hey, knock if off, C.J.! This sleigh only fits one person. As soon as we're done giving these bossy girls a ride, you and me can have Morgan and the sleigh all to ourselves, OK?"
So Vivienne got her turn. Just then Betta showed up yelling "Who wants hot cocoa and cookies?"
She set up a little table, and put out a jar of cookies, a thermos of hot cocoa and some cups and napkins..
Vivienne and I just smiled and winked at each other.
"Want a cookie, Kevin?" Betta asked. "Mom just baked these this morning."
"Oh boy! Mom baked these? Let me at 'em!"
He unscrewed the jar, and reached in to get a cookie.
He didn't know what was inside....*giggle*
When he touched the spider, he pulled his hand out and screamed like a girl! It was the funniest thing I'd ever seen! We were all cracking up! Even C.J.!
"I think spider cookies taste twice as good as snowball sandwiches", I said. "Don't you think so Vivienne?"
"Maybe even three times as good", she agreed.
"I think so too", Betta said, winking at us.
"That'll teach you to mess with us girls", I told the boys.
Vivienne and me slapped each other some five.
Betta reached into the jar again and pulled out the toy spider.
"OK, I guess I had that coming", Kevin said. "That was a pretty good one, sis."
"It was Julie's idea", Betta told him. "And Mom's!"
"Mom did this to me? To her own son?"
"Well, she said this was just like when you put the snake in Danny's bunk last summer."
Kevin smiled. "Oh yeah, I'd forgotten about that."
"Mom didn't", Betta said, laughing.
"So are we even, now, Kevin?, Vivienne said.
"Yeah, I guess so. I'm sorry I've been such a creep, Julie. You were pretty cool to me last summer. I guess I was just trying to act like a big shot. Friends?"
"Yeah...friends", I answered and slapped Kevin and C.J. some five.
"Can we eat now?" C. J. asked
"Sure, kiddo", Betta answered.
We all took a cookie and Betta poured the hot cocoa.
"These cookies are far out", I said.
"Now who wants a sleigh ride?", Kevin asked.
"Me!" C.J. shouted.
"Hey, cut it out, C.J.! Julie is our guest, remember?"
Until next time, future readers,