Hmm, the pond looks larger now for some reason. And there they were, sticking out of the ice and snow, groups of crossarms, and full of insulators in a rainbow of colors! Well, okay, various shades of green and aqua. But it’s what may lay hidden under the ice that makes it more interesting, said dad. You go out first, he continued. Me?! Why me? Because you’re the lightest, said dad, and I went first through all that deep snow. Naturally. I knew there had to be a reason why he volunteered to go first through the snow. So…out I went.
Slowly. Carefully. And cowardly. Sigh. I made it to the first group of crossarms. It was easy to remove the insulators, but, the crossarms were frozen solidly into the ice. Can’t budge them, I called back. Lean right against them and push with your whole body, yelled dad. Sure. Easy for him to say from the safety of dry land. They still wouldn’t move. Still can’t budge them, I called back again. Dad just shook his head and started out across the ice. Suddenly there was a very loud crack! Dad and I both froze. He was only about 4 feet from me by this time. This was not looking good.
The look on dad’s face was priceless. He used to get that look a lot when we were out together. Not sure why. The water came up quite fast and turned the snow to slush which isn’t really a nice picture when out on the pond so far from shore. And the snow was actually fairly deep along the way I took out to the crossarms, and dad followed my path. I was actually quite amazed at how fast dad managed to turn around and run through that deep snow back to the safety of shore. I decided to take a wide circle around that spot and got safely back.
Dad hands me the axe and says, “take this back with you”. Back where, said I. When you go back out to get those crossarms, said dad. Forget it, I said, I’ll go to the next bunch instead. Fine, said dad. Off I went. The snow wasn’t quite so deep out to the next bunch of crossarms. There was five of them sticking out of the ice. Still not sure why they were out there like that in the first place. Oh well. Frozen solid, I yelled back. Chop them out with the axe, yelled dad. Right. Out in the middle of the pond. Sigh. So I started chopping. I thought I heard something so turned back toward shore.
Dad was sitting in the snow waving to me. Odd, I thought, but I waved back, then went back to my chopping. Suddenly, splash, the axe went through to the water, and I almost dropped it. But the crossarms were free so I hauled them out onto the ice. I heard dad yelling so I looked back to where he was sitting. At least I thought he was sitting. He was now waving both arms frantically and yelling to me to come help him. I brought a couple of the crossarms with me. Are you stuck?, I asked. No, said dad, I just decided to jump in this hole to keep warm. Dad could be quite sarcastic at times.
Dig me out, said dad. How? We don’t have shovel, I said. Hmm, maybe I could use the axe? I started digging and chopping at that hard packed snow. You should have seen the look on dad’s face. Bonehead, don’t use the axe, he yelled! It’s perfectly safe, I said, but I pulled the axe out of the hole I was digging. Dad was looking downward at the time and…whack! Right on his forehead. Dad kind of leaned back groaning and I put the axe on the snow. Guess I will just have to use my hands.
This will be continued…
Steve and Muffin.
© 2020 Steve McLeod.