The Hill

By Julia M. L. Whitehead

(Based on a true story)

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What was so dangerous about The Hill?

“Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12).

The Hill

Darla’s mittens and boots had barely dried when she sat down on the rug to put them back on. She could hardly wait to go sledding again!

Sledding in the park with her friends was Darla’s favorite thing about winter. The round, snowy hills were perfect for sledding.

But now that Darla and her friends were getting older, they wanted to try the bigger hills at the park instead. They were ready for The Hill. It was the biggest, slipperiest hill in the whole park. And for Darla, it was also off-limits.

“I’ve already heard of at least two kids getting hurt on that hill this year,” Mom said when Darla asked to go sledding on The Hill. “That’s why one of our family rules is that we don’t sled on it.”

When The Hill got icy, sleds got harder to control. Kids crashed into the fence at the bottom and got hurt.

“But, Mom, by the time you get to the bottom, you’re going so slow you can just roll off before you get to the fence,” Darla said.

But Mom wasn’t changing her mind.

Darla headed outside to meet up with her friends.

“Let’s go down The Hill!” Sasha said.

Darla’s stomach squirmed. “How about we just stay on the small hills?” she said. “My mom says I can’t go down that one.”

“Why not? The other hills are too boring,” said Emily. She started toward The Hill. “Come on.”

Darla looked up at The Hill. It really did look fun. And she’d be careful! But then she looked down at the fence at the bottom. Darla sighed. She knew Mom wanted her to be safe.

Sasha and Emily were already walking to The Hill. “I guess I’d better head home,” Darla called after them.

“OK,” Sasha called back. “But you’re missing out!”

Maybe she was missing out, Darla thought as she dragged her sled home.

“What happened?” Mom asked when Darla walked back inside.

“Sasha and Emily wanted to sled down The Hill,” she said with a frown. “I told them I couldn’t, and I asked them to stay on the smaller hills. But they still went, so I came home.”

Mom hugged Darla. “Thanks for being obedient,” she said. “I bet that was hard.”

Darla’s shoulders slumped. “Yeah. I was really excited to go sledding.”

“I know,” Mom said. “Obeying family rules isn’t always easy, but I’m really proud of you for choosing the right. I bet you were listening to the Holy Ghost.”

Darla nodded. She did feel good about her choice, even though it was hard.

Mom’s words helped warm her up inside. And that reminded her. “How about some hot chocolate? Maybe we can invite Sasha and Emily over for some when they get back!”