''Tell us another scary story,'' one little pest begged.
''Yeah, tell us again about when there were no video games,'' the other said. ''Did you feel awful all the time?''
I watched snow swirling past the window, wondering how long before the storm let up. We were trapped inside and they'd grown bored of other entertainment. So they woke me from my nap.
''See, when I was kid ... ,'' I began.
One scamp waved his hands. ''Not the one where you walked five miles to school in three feet of snow ... ''
''... uphill, both ways, barefoot,'' the other irritant said.
They broke into fits of giggles. ''We know you're making that one up. You don't walk anywhere.''
I adjusted my easy chair and brushed cookie crumbs off the natural shelf of my belly. ''We didn't always walk. Sometimes we rode bicycles.''
''You can't ride bicycles in the snow.''
''Have you ever tried?'' I said. ''You're too busy playing video games to have adventures. Of course, we did get a whipping for that one.''
''Ooh, what happened?'' The pests settled in. Like they said, they love scary stories - especially when the scary parts happened to me. So I told them.
It was a January afternoon with four feet of snow and temperatures so cold that icicles crinkled inside noses. Our moms insisted that we stay inside. So my brothers and a bunch of the neighbor boys went sledding - down the stairs. Mom ran to find out what all the thumping was about, took one look at the Radio Flyer and the new grooves etched into her steps, and told us we could go outside. She insisted.
Since we only had mild slopes on the farm, I tried to figure how to tow the sled behind my bicycle.
''What we need are snow chains,'' I said.
''I've got an idea,'' one of the neighbors said.
The other kids took off for their houses to get what we needed while my brothers and I shoveled a sled trail through the backyard. The other boys came back, their mittens full of their moms' bracelets and necklaces - the perfect size for bicycle tire chains.
I wrapped the jewelry around the Schwinn's tires, knotting them through the spokes. We tied the sled to the bike with baling twine.
''Hop on,'' I said. A couple of the guys jumped on the sled, and I began pedaling. The necklaces and bracelets bit into the trail. It worked!
Then we hit a slight slope. The sled picked up speed. I didn't. The front of the Radio Flyer slid under the back; the Schwinn flipped. Suddenly, I was riding the sled upside down, wedged between the guys, my feet still pumping pedals. Wheels spun crazily above us as we whooshed along.
Then the bracelets and necklaces broke free, scattering in arcs of blues, reds, greens, golds and silvers, littering the snow banks as we sailed along. It was a magnificent way to blaze a trail.
My story was interrupted by one of the pests. ''Awesome!''
''That wasn't one of the words our moms used,'' I said, shifting uncomfortably on a painful memory. ''But I think that's why they started making us walk five miles to school every day. Possibly even in bare feet.''
Later, I heard one of the rascals ask the other, ''Do you believe his stories?''
''Nope. A world without video games can't be true,'' the other said. ''Say, does Mom have any necklaces?''
I smiled and kicked back for another nap. It's good to have adventures.