Snow Hill Sniper

by Mike Morin

                                                   Snow hill Sniper

Back when I was a young boy, there were some woods behind our house and in those woods was a dirt road that led to an abandoned sand quarry, complete with a sloping wall of top soil, which in winter became a pretty big and steep snow hill, for a ten year old anyway.

With every fresh snowfall this hill immediately attracted every youngster in the neighborhood, time and time again we would climb up with toboggan in tow, position ourselves at the crest of this marvelous mound of merriment and launch our little bodies down and hope for the best.

Now after a few of us had slid down and trudged our way up a dozen times or so, a mound would form at the bottom of the hill to the delight of every little maniac there. It was the ideal take off ramp.

I remember one time when I was first to arrive the day after one of our outings, I was pretty pleased, the snow on the hill was hard packed as was the mound at the bottom and it was all mine, for a little while anyway, so I wasted no time climbing up and settling in at the top, aiming my toboggan at the sweet spot at the bottom, sitting cross legged at the very front of my trusty downhill racer and a few pushes of my mitten covered hands, down I went, the wind in my face, over the bump and then SMACK! The back of my head stung and snow swirled around my face! I had been hit by a snow ball! I was not alone after all! I scanned the top of the hill but I couldn't see the culprit, I quickly made my way to the top, after a quick search I assumed it was a hit and run, someone had gotten a good laugh at my expense, Oh well so be it, the hill was all mine again.

Once again I launched myself downhill steering my somewhat beat up aluminum toboggan and once more flew over the mound, it happened again WHACK! To the back of my head, a cloud of snow around my face.

Now I was irritated, I left my toboggan where it had stopped, raced up the hill, he wasn't getting away this time! I looked everywhere, behind bushes, trees, snow banks, nothing,

No one to be seen, this guy was fast and a damned good shot! I thought begrudgingly

So down I went to retrieve my aluminum speedster, once again up the hill, I settle in, pause a moment, look around, the coast looked clear so one more time down I went over the bump, WHACK! Not again!! Up the hill I storm, ready for a fist fight, again I search high and low, still nothing.

Now I hatch a plan to catch this sniper in the act, I settle myself in the toboggan, this time I'm facing backwards, It's a little risky but I don't care, if he dares to strike I will see him this time.

So off I go, steering backwards as best I can, I'm lined up okay, here comes the bump at the bottom, I'm scanning the top of the hill, when all at once it disappears and is replaced by the back end of my toboggan flying upwards swiftly heading for my face.

When the ride was over, the cool wet snow on my head did little to diminish the sting of the impact, not to mention my burning embarrassment; I looked around to see if anyone had witnessed this humiliating little escapade, there was no one, what a relief.

This happened to me over thirty years ago now, so I suppose its okay to tell folks about it.

Mike Morin

Ottawa, Ontario


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