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Karen Moroz

© 2000

Red Mittens

Carol and Karen, two young sisters, were sharing another day of winter fun in Minnesota. They lived on a small hobby farm with very few neighbors so they had learned to use their imagination and create games to play. Today however, fear and adventure would enter their play world.

Carol and Karen ventured down the winding road about half a mile to the pond on Padula’s farm. Bundled up, both wearing new red mittens, the two began gliding upon the icy pond slipping, chasing and screaming gleefully with the other children.

The blustery wind nipped at their noses and excitement filled every fiber of their bodies. They were having so much fun! They threw snowballs with Ronnie, Dawn, and Mitch, Bobby Padula chased them, and they practiced spinning and gliding across the pond like graceful figure skaters. Carol and Karen didn’t even notice the large black bull lurking behind the fence.

The constant motion, loud voices and bright colors of winter jackets attracted the bull’s attention. He stomped, snorted and swung his head from side to side. He charged through the fence. His head was lowered for attack, steam rolled out of his enlarged nostrils like a train racing along in the cold Minnesota air.

Bobby Padula suddenly shouted, “Run! Here comes the bull!”

All the children scattered like bees in a disturbed hive. Carol grabbed her little sister’s hand and together they began their dash toward safety…home!
Down Padula’s long snow covered driveway and up the HUGE hill. The bull’s black anger charged after the girls. They could hear his snorts. They could feel the ground shake as his powerful hooves lumbered after them. Carol shouted, “Why is the bull chasing us?”

She held Karen’s hand tightly and tried to help her little sister run faster. “Come on, you can do it Karen, RUN!” Karen began to cry and stumbled along in the snow, but together they kept on running. They had to escape the bull!

They wanted to get back home. They ran until they reached the top of the large hill. They ran through Sturgeon’s back yard and looked down the tree-covered hill to their beautiful home. With tears running down her cheeks, Karen said, “I can’t run anymore!”

Collapsing into the snow, exhausted, the sisters clung to each other. They turned to look for the bull and Karen shouted, “He’s gone!”

Carol hugged her sister and said, “It’s over.”

Karen cried, “I’m so cold!” She looked down and saw her mittens were gone. “Carol,” she said, “I think I lost my new mittens!” They were too tired to move. They sat cold and scared upon the windy winter hill. They began screaming just as loud as they could, hoping Mom would hear them.

Carol took off her own bright red mittens and carefully slipped them on Karen’s frigid hands. Looking at the mittens, then up at her big sister with eyes filled with love, fear and hope, Karen knew that she would be okay—Carol was there!

They were okay. Mom heard their voices and looked out the kitchen window. She saw her two little ones huddled at the top of the hill. Mom grabbed her coat and ran to help the girls. She took them home and warmed them with hot cocoa. She listened as the girls relived their morning of terror. A morning that ended with bright red mittens warmed by love!

Karen Moroz was a 2000 Selective fellow. She teaches seventh grade English at Northdale Middle School in Coon Rapids. She was listed in the 1998 edition of Who's Who in America's Teachers. She enjoys crafts, dancing and outdoor activities.