The night before Luke Goldman saved his friend's life, his family's cat pushed the top off of a gerbil's cage, snatched up the gerbil and ran off with it.
Luke didn't move. His father ran and caught the cat and the gerbil escaped harm.
Afterward, Luke's father told him that it was OK to get upset, but that "you can't freeze if something is happening" that needs your attention.
The next day, Jan. 3, Luke was sledding with his friend in West Babylon. His friend stepped onto a semi-frozen pond and the ice gave way.
Luke didn't freeze.
"I just ran over and pulled him out," Luke said of his friend, who had been submerged in the water up to his neck.
Luke, a sixth grader at West Babylon Junior High School, and his friend walked home together and his friend received the proper medical attention.
For his heroic efforts, Luke, a talented defenseman for the Town of Huntington Recreation League at the Dix Hills Ice Rink, was recently honored by Huntington Town Councilwoman Susan Berland.
"Luke's actions set an example for responsible behavior in a crisis and heroism in the face of danger," Berland said in a statement. "His quick thinking and bravery helped save a life. This situation also draws attention to the potential danger that exists at frozen ponds this time of year; everyone needs to be careful, because not everyone will be so lucky as to have Luke close by."
Luke's reaction when he heard he was being honored?
"Honestly, I didn't believe it at first," he said. "I thought my dad was lying. Then he told me it was actually real."