The soft snow sank beneath my thick blue moon boots. It was a cold, miserable morning, the trees dripping icicles and frost. I took slow, heavy steps with my backpack weighed down by my spelling workbook and teddy bear I had brought for show-and-tell.
The path in front of me was smooth and pure, untouched yet by other school children. I carefully placed each boot in front of me, eager to leave behind perfect footprints instead of sloppy skids from dragging my feet. I ignored the chatter of my sister and neighbors, focusing solely on my task. My prints were the only ones that mattered. I hoped to see them in their perfect beauty when we walked home later that day.
As I took my next purposeful step, whoosh! I suddenly found the world shooting up above me. My body plunged into Earth's terrible jaws, sucking me deep into the cold, lonely earth. I watched in horror as the trees, houses and people disappeared. Up above, the pale blue sky closed up like the bottom tip of a funnel. I was trapped!
"Help!" I screamed frantically, turning in tight circles against the hard dirt walls. It was straight up, nowhere for me to climb.
How long was I going to be stuck here? I pictured my friends running for help, only to come back, unable to find me in the white wilderness. Was I going to freeze to death, starve, or even die of dehydration? Images of Baby Jessica formed in my head as I recalled the show about an 18-month old who fell down a well. It took workers over two days to fish her out. How long would it take to rescue me?
As terrified tears drenched my frozen cheeks, my sister's head appeared at the opening. "Take my hand!" she ordered.
I reached up, surprised, relieved, and somewhat disappointed. Her gloved hand grasped mine, and she easily pulled me out from the everlasting depths of a four-foot hole. Looked like I was going to have to go to school after all.