The Last Sled Ride

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We started yelling, “Watch out for that tree!”
We had put my mentally disabled niece on a flexible flyer sled. The slope downhill wasn’t very steep.

She was laughing when we pushed her off on her first solo run.
We realized our mistake when she headed for a small cherry tree. The sled hit the tree, and then she shot forward and hit the tree with her face dead center.

The impact was hard to watch, and when she lay motionless, I was sure we had accidentally killed her. Her parents and I ran to her. She wasn’t even crying, just moaning softly.
There was only a small cut on her nose and forehead, but then we saw that her two front teeth were broken. Her sledding days were over.

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