Gerard was on the far end of a brittle branch, trying to grab his cap from the flowing river, when it snapped. He plunged head first into the icy cold waters of the river and was immediately swept along its strong currents. In less than ten minutes, Gerard could feel the iciness of the water
nipping at him. He knew he must get out of the water before he turned numb from the cold.
Luckily, he was a strong swimmer and managed to stay afloat despite the
torrents that threatened to pull him underwater. From the corner of his eyes, he saw Val and Kim running after him along the river bank. They seemed to be screaming something at him but he could not hear them above the sounds of the rushing water. Not far in front was his favourite red and blue cap which his late father had given him. Determined not to leave the river without his cap, he took four bold strokes of the water to reach it. He seized his treasure with relief. Then he looked around for a way out of the river.
Soon, he spotted a low-lying branch. The tree was perched at the edge of the river bank. It looked so similar to the one that gave way before, but this time, Gerard thought that there was no sense in giving in to fear. That tree branch might be his last chance out of the river.
He eyed the branch steadily, bracing himself as he approached the branch. He clasped the branch with all his might as the river swept him past the tree. Like a firm friendly hand, the branch curled around his wrist and held him fast in his place. Gerard was relieved for the second time that afternoon. He hung on the branch, exhausted, until Val and Kim came running to his rescue.