Mina and her son, Jason, lived in a small city in the northeastern United States. Their neighborhood was nice. One of the best features it had was a large pond. In the summer time, everyone took walks around the woods by the pond. Some went fishing there. All the local kids played on the playground that was built beside it. In the winter, neighbors would gather to go ice skating or play hockey. It was the heart of the neighborhood.

One cold, winter morning in late January, Mina asked Jason if he wanted to walk down to the pond and go skating. The temperature was below freezing. Some nights it had been near zero degrees and everything was frozen solid. So, Mina knew the ice was thick and it would be safe enough to skate on. Jason, of course, said yes.

They both got dressed for the weather. Mina bundled Jason up in a hat, a scarf, mittens, snow pants, and a long winter coat. She wore her heavy coat with a ruff around the hood. They both had on thick, warm socks under their tall boots. Mina packed up both pairs of ice skates and some water to drink. Jason was so excited. He hadn’t skated since the winter before.

They stepped out into the bitter cold air. It was a little windy and they both immediately felt a chill. Mina closed and locked the front door. They walked the three blocks down to the pond. On their way there, they passed people walking their dogs on the sidewalk or jogging for exercise.

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