Saunder’s Hill – The Sled, Part 1

The “Saunder’s Hill” collection of stories is one I began in high school and hope to continue now. Perhaps one day, I will gather them all into a children’s book. For now, enjoy.

All I could think about was snow. All through school the day it started, on into that night, and the next day when it continued. Sure enough, the next morning when I woke up, the whole world was covered in a soft, white blanket. Evergreens poked their needles out through their newly fresh blanket, the roads were not to be seen, and everywhere you could hear the noises of children playing in the snow. I was not about to be left out.

         “Papa, papa!” I yelled, running down the wooden stairs of our big house as fast as I could without tripping over my long nightdress, “It’s stopped! Can I have my sled now?”

          Papa’s big frame appeared in the kitchen door. I always had to look up to see him, therefore I stood in awe of him constantly. His blue eyes twinkled as he looked at me.

         “Ellie, you know that Christmas is two days away. You will have to wait.” he settled himself into his large easy-chair.

         “But Papa! The snow won’t wait. Please can’t I have the sled.” I sobbed.

          My father had gone and done something totally “wrong” in our time. He had bought his little girl a boy’s sled. The town gossips had been babbling for weeks. “I’ve always said Elmira Moore (for that was my name) was too much of a tomboy,” prattled one. “‘Encouraging his daughter’s imagination my foot. That girl ought to be whipped into shape,” agreed another. My mother, who was considered to have the best reputation in town, tried to live down her husband’s “mistake”.

         “I’m sorry, Ellie.” Papa’s eyes were soft, “but you remember our deal, don’t you? If I bought the sled for you, you would have to wait for Christmas to use it.” He pushed himself up from his chair and tucked in his flannel work shirt. “Now go get dressed. There are other things to do in the snow besides sledding.”

         I grumbled and muttered as I climbed the stairs to my room. I threw on my course, knitted shirt and overalls, which were also not considered to be appropriately feminine, then ran downstairs. I was all bundled up and ready to follow Papa outside, when my older brothers, Jay and Kyle, burst into the kitchen.

         “Papa,” Jay called, “ the boys are having a snowball fight, will you be on my team?”

         “And mine too!” added Kyle.

         “ I want to play,” I piped up. Jay glared at me. I stuck my tongue out at him.

         “Ellie!” Papa looked down at me warningly.

         “He started it……” I began, but a look from Papa stopped me. Papa turned back to Jay.

         “Of course I’ll play with you, and Ellie will too.” I grinned.

         Papa was known by all the boys in town as the best baseball, football, snowball, and any other “ball” player. If any boy’s father couldn’t play ball with him, the little boy always came to see if Papa could play. Of course, that was almost all the time.

         Papa was owned some of the best land in town. Our house sat on top of “Saunder’s Hill” and overlooked most of the town. It was a large clapboard house painted white with green shutters. Large, shady trees grew in the front yard. The back yard was a huge hill known all over town as the best sledding hill.

         As Papa and the boys were building the snow fortress, I eyed the shed longingly. I knew Papa had put my sled in there; and, since I was still obsessed with sledding, I decided to ride it while there was still snow. I didn’t know how or when, but I was going to ride that day!

To Be Continued…….

© 2019 by H.C. Morris

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