Despite the cute title (the answer is 'lead', and that's how I learned it, but I use 'lede' in today's world of search engines) this article about the first paragraph of a new story is useful and insightful. My own understanding of a lede is that it is short - 23 words or so - and contains the entire story in one or two sentences. It's a key part of the 'inverted pyramid' style of writing, where the most important bit is stated up front, and then the article moves into deeper and deeper detail. The idea was that if you ran out of room you could remove the lowerst paragraph(s) and still have a complete (but less detailed) story. That's how I prefer to write, when possible.