1．Harry and Annie lived a mile from town, but they went there to school every day. It was a pleasant walk down the lane, and through the meadow by the pond.
2．I hardly know whether they liked it better in summer or in winter. They used to pretend that they were travelers exploring a new country, and would scatter leaves on the road that they might find their way back again.
3．When the ice was thick and firm, they went across the pond. But their mother did not like to have them do this unless some one was with them.
4．"Don't go across the pond today, children," she said, as she kissed them and bade them good-by one morning; "it is beginning to thaw."
5．"All right, mother," said Harry, not very good-naturedly, for he was very fond of running and sliding on the ice. When they came to the pond, the ice looked hard and safe.
6．"There," said he to his sister, "I knew it hadn't thawed any. Mother is always afraid we shall be drowned. Come along, we will have a good time sliding. The school bell will not ring for an hour at least."
7．"But you promised mother," said Annie.
8．"No, I didn't. I only said ‘All right,' and it is all right."
9．"I didn't say anything; so I can do as I like," said Annie.
10．So they stepped on the ice, and started to go across the pond. They had not gone far before the ice gave way, and they fell into the water.
11．A man who was at work near the shore, heard the screams of the children, and plunged into the water to save them. Harry managed to get to the shore without any help, but poor Annie was nearly drowned before the man could reach her.
12．Harry went home almost frozen, and told his mother how disobedient he had been. He remembered the lesson learned that day as long as he lived.