Aiden discovers the many uses of a hockey stick

Emmitt B. Feldner  for The Review

It seems there are many more uses for a hockey stick than I ever dreamed of.

At least, that seems to be the case when said hockey stick is in the hands of our grandson Aiden.

Aiden and his mom spent the weekend with us while his dad was at drill with the Army Reserves, which meant he went along with me Sunday when I manned the local ice warming shack.

He didn’t even have to be coerced – he volunteered to come along, which was all right with his mother, who was feeling a bit under the weather thanks to a bug she picked up from her son.

Aiden’s been skating a few times, which puts him way ahead of his Poppie.

I prefer to stick to pursuits where I can keep my feet flat on the ground, not propped up on a skinny little blade – especially when I’m trying to get across a surface of hard ice.

Aiden got his skates right away – he still uses the double bladed ones – and then decided he wanted a stick and a hockey puck as well.

Our requirement at the warming shack is that any users leave a shoe or boot as a deposit on sticks or pucks that they borrow, so Aiden dutifully gave me both of his shoes and headed out with his stick and puck.

I couldn’t accompany him, as I had to man the counter inside, so he was on his own to figure out what to do with his equipment.

Not that I would have been much help – I’ve watched a lot of hockey on television but have never played it, since it’s my firm belief that if I had been meant to play hockey I would have been born French Canadian.

Aiden pushed the puck around a little while with his stick – which he tried holding in several different ways, none of which looked like he’d copied them from anyone in the NHL.

He soon tired of that, however, and began using the stick to push around the snow on the ice.

Apparently he decided he could control piles of snow better than a hard rubber disk.

He came back inside for a few minutes, then informed me he was going back outside to fight the snow dragon.

It turned out that the hockey stick was quite useful for that as well.

The snow dragon turned out to be the ridge of piled-up snow along the side of the pond, left there after the pond was plowed off.

Aiden was soon using the hockey stick to ‘slay’ the dragon, plunging it repeatedly into the dragon’s sides and top.

Fortunately for him, snow dragons are apparently pretty docile and don’t fight back when they are being slain.

He did enlist help from a new friend he made among the crowd skating on the ice, and the two of them quickly made short work of what Aiden called a ‘juicy’ dragon – I’m still not sure exactly what that means.

We’re probably not ready to start calling Aiden St. George just yet – we could if he’d been named after his great-grandfather, but that’s not the case – but it is good to know that, as long as he’s around, we’re safe from snow dragons.

Apparently it’s not easy work slaying snow dragons, as with that task completed, Aiden decided he was through skating for the day and turned in his stick and puck to get his shoes back.

He actually gave me two hockey pucks – he apparently grabbed one somebody else had out on the ice – but I couldn’t give him three shoes back.

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