Solve The Mys­tery

Can you fig­ure out who pushed El­lie down the tallest, scari­est slide on the play­ground?

Girls' World - - Contents -

Wow, it’s re­ally com­ing down!” El­lie’s best friend, Megan, ex­claimed. They pressed their faces against the win­dows of their fifth grade class­room, watch­ing a flurry of snowflakes make their way to the ground.

“I know,” El­lie nod­ded her head in agree­ment. “I can barely see the jungle gym out there. The en­tire play­ground is cov­ered with snow.”

“Well, there’s no way the school will let us go out­side for re­cess,” Megan sighed, turn­ing away from the win­dows. She looked at El­lie and broke out into a smile. “But after school, the play­ground is all ours!”

“Yeah! As soon as the dis­missal bell rings, we should run out there and build a snow fort,” El­lie said ex­cit­edly.

“No, I have a bet­ter idea,” Megan in­sisted. “Let’s pile up a ton of snow at the bot­tom of the slide. Then, we can all slide down it and land in a huge snow bed!” “Wait … do you mean the slide?” El­lie asked ner­vously. “Yes, the slide,” Megan grinned. “I think the tallest slide on the play­ground would be the best pick. And the slip­pery snow will help us get some se­ri­ous speed as we slide down it! Trust me, it’ll be so much fun.”

“Please,” Jes­sica, a girl from their class, in­ter­rupted. “We all know El­lie would never go down that slide. She’s too chicken.”

El­lie gulped while Megan de­fended her to Jes­sica. But Jes­sica was sort of right. To El­lie, there was noth­ing “fun” about the tallest slide on the play­ground. In fact, she tried to avoid it as much as pos­si­ble. It was tall and scary and spi­ral­ing. Plenty of kids would slide down it, not re­al­iz­ing how fast they’d go. El­lie had watched a bunch of kids scream the whole way down. Some even flew off the end and landed on the ground, right on their butts.

But de­spite be­ing so scary, the tall slide was pretty pop­u­lar — which was great news for El­lie. That meant there was al­ways a long line of kids wait­ing to go down it, and her friends never wanted to spend their re­cess in line. They’d much rather spend their time on the swings or play­ing a game of tag.

And on the days when the line was short and her friends did want to wait to go down it, El­lie had be­come a mas­ter at think­ing up ex­cuses. She’d quickly come up with a good rea­son why she needed to head back in­side or go see the nurse. So far, she’d been suc­cess­ful and never once had to tell her friends the real rea­son why she didn’t want to go down the slide.

But this time, she didn’t know how she’d be able to get out of it with­out look­ing like a scaredy-cat.

Through­out the rest of the school day, El­lie couldn’t fo­cus. Her mind kept re­turn­ing to the slide. She shud­dered ev­ery time she thought of Megan’s plan. The slide is al­ready fast and scary enough, El­lie thought to her­self. And now that it’s cov­ered in snow, it’ll be even faster and scarier. There’s no way I can go down it.

El­lie’s thoughts were even­tu­ally in­ter­rupted by the dis­missal bell. Her heart sank when she re­al­ized the school day was of­fi­cially over, and Megan was hus­tling to pack up her book­bag.

“C’mon!” Megan called out as she threw on her coat. “Let’s get out there!”

El­lie be­grudg­ingly grabbed her bag and headed out­side. She helped Megan and the other kids pile up snow at the bot­tom of the slide. When they were all done, El­lie took a step back to eval­u­ate their work. She was sur­prised by how much fun it ac­tu­ally looked. Maybe slid­ing down the slide and into the snow won’t be so bad? she thought op­ti­misti­cally. Be­fore she knew it, El­lie was wait­ing in line next to Megan. “I’m so ex­cited to go down,” Megan beamed as they slowly made their way to the top of the slide. “The snow at the bot­tom looks like a big, fluffy cush­ion!”

El­lie de­cided to look down at the ground to see what Megan was talk­ing about. Big mis­take. Now that they were al­most to the top, she re­al­ized just how high up they were. El­lie started to feel woozy.

“What’s the mat­ter?” El­lie, who’s face had got­ten pale, heard from be­hind her. She turned to see Jes­sica stand­ing three peo­ple be­hind her. “You look like you’re gonna throw up!” “I might,” El­lie mum­bled. “It’s not that bad, El­lie,” Megan re­as­sured her. “Yeah, even my sis­ter has gone down it be­fore, and she’s only in the first grade,” Jes­sica added.

“Not help­ing!” El­lie told them in a pan­icked voice as she and Megan ap­proached the top. They were up next.

El­lie’s mind be­gan swirling. She des­per­ately tried to think of how to get back down. She glanced be­hind her and saw the long line of kids she’d have to try to pass if she climbed back down. She was stuck. “Hurry up!” some­one from the bot­tom of the steps called up. “We’ve been wait­ing for­ever! “Keep it down,” Megan yelled at the kid. “You can do it, El!” El­lie was on the brink of tears. But be­fore she had an­other sec­ond to think, she felt a strong push in the cen­ter of her back. El­lie went fly­ing down the slide. “Ah­h­h­h­h­hhh!” she yelled out as she slid to the bot­tom. In a mat­ter of a few sec­onds, El­lie was in the big pile of snow. It took her a few mo­ments to re­al­ize she had ac­tu­ally gone down the slide … and she had sur­vived!

But El­lie’s ex­cite­ment quickly turned into con­fu­sion. She re­mem­bered feel­ing a firm hand on her back. Some­one def­i­nitely pushed her down the scary slide — but who?!

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