The new, heavily laden snow blanketed the hilly, creviced landscape of their backyard. As Rob looked out the window, all he could see was the fun that could be had if Mother would let him.
“Please, Mom. I’ll stay away from the barn and the cellar. Let me try out my new sled.”
Mother knew that the new snow would be a lot of fun for the kids; however, she was a little concerned about the fact that the surface was not as hard as it should be. It would be too easy for the sled to break through. She hated to disappoint them though.
“Tell you what. Let’s make a deal. If you stay away from the steep hills, I’ll let you play outside for an hour. Promise?”
“Ok, promise.” Eagerly Rob and his brothers put on their snow suits. Boy, were they ever going to have fun! And Mom wouldn’t know everything they did as long as she couldn’t see them from the house.
For a while the children played on the flatter banks near the house. Mother kept an eye on them from the window. It looked like everything was going OK and they were having fun. Maybe she worried about nothing.
As soon as Rob saw that she was no longer watching, he quickly went into action.
“Come on, you guys. I know where we can have more fun. See the hill over there. Let’s try it. It’ll be faster.”
“But, Rob. Isn’t that . . .”
“So, what are you going to do? Tell? We’ll be OK. I’ll prove it to you. I’ll go first.”
As the other kids watched, Rob took a flying leap and jumped on his sled. As the sled gained speed, it did look like fun and after all, Mother would want them to have fun.
A cloud of snow hurtled into the sky as the sled began the final leg of the descent over the one place that Mother had told them specifically to stay away from, the root cellar. Everything seemed to be going fine, when suddenly the cloud disappeared. Where was the sled? That was when they saw it. A big, empty hole that disappeared into the deep snow bank.
“Come on, you guys. Let’s dig him out. If mother finds out, we’re all in trouble.” The faster the children dug, the more the snow fell in. They weren’t getting anywhere.
“We’ve got to get mother. I’m going to tell her.”
“Don’t you dare.”
Soon Mother was there with a shovel, digging frantically. She knew that if Rob fell all the way through that he could go into the snow covered root cellar and be safe. However, what if he hadn’t fallen far enough?
Snow flew from the buckets and shovels as all of them frantically removed the new snow. A path was being made to the underground cellar. When they reached the sled, they could see where the impact had projected Rob down deeper. Where was he?
“Come on, kids. Keep digging.” Soon they struck the wood door of the cellar. Mother pushed against the door. As it slowly opened, there sat Rob, casually eating a fresh carrot from the cellar.
“Why didn’t you answer me, young man? Well, why?”
“My mouth was full of food and you’ve always told me to not talk when my mouth is full.”
“Get into the house, now! You are in so much trouble.”
As the children scrambled up the snow bank toward the house, Mother didn’t know if her shaking knees would ever stop. He had come so close to dying. She was going to “kill” him if he didn’t learn to obey. “Oh, Lord. Please help me to do the right thing. Help Rob to learn to obey.”
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