Outside it was very cold and the layer of ice on the lake had thickened. "I think it's time to go ice skating", Karl announced. "Hopefully I won't fall down too often this time.", Gini said. She couldn't skate too well yet but still she got into her warm clothes, took her skates and went out with Karl. Many people had had the same idea. A lot was going on on the ice. Gini and Karl put their skates on and a moment later Karl was on the ice. Gini slowly followed him. Cautiously she made a few steps. Oh, it was going well so far. Now she was skating around the lake in a big circle. It was wonderful! It was going so much better than last year! Gini was overjoyed and immediately made some more rounds around the lake. Then she noticed Susi, her small neighbour who was sitting on the corner crying. "What's the matter with you, Susi ?", she asked. "I fall down all the time", moaned Susi. "Everyone else can skate so well, just not me. I will never learn it." "Nonsense", Gini said and took Susi by the hand. "You just need a bit more practice, then you can ride as well as everyone else. Last year I couldn't ride at all without falling down but today it is going wonderfully". She held Susi's hand tight and together they slowly skated over the ice. A few times Susi almost slipped but every time Gini held her tight and they skated gracefully along the ice. Susi was happy again. Now she wanted to try to skate all by herself again. But she had merely let go Gini's hand when she fell down once again. Sadly she got up and stood on the sidelines.
In the middle of the lake a kind of performance had started. Experienced ice skaters made daring jumps and pirouettes. Karl sighed. "If I could only do that too", he said a bit jealously. He tried a few times to do a pirouette but each time he landed hard on his bottom. Disappointed he stood beside Susi at the railing. "Oh, you two", said Gini who came riding along elegantly. "why don't you concentrate on the things you can do instead of focusing on that which you can't? Look at the progress you have already made!" Susi and Karl looked at each other. Then Karl took Susi by the hand and together they slid around the lake. Inbetween Karl let her go and really she managed to go quite some way on her own and Karl always took her hand in time to prevent her from falling again. Then Karl started to go in circles around Gini and then around himself and the circles got smaller and smaller and suddenly he circled around like those experienced skaters.
Then all their friends came and they took themselves by the hand and made a big circle around the lake while happily and loudly singing "We wish you a merry Christmas". All the people were looking at them. After going around the lake twice they let go again and everybody was going crisscross over the lake. Everybody had a lot of fun! And they went on skating until it became dark and it was time to go home again.
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