It seemed like it was going to be another one of those days when
nothing much happens. Ken and his friends were playing their
regular football game along the banks of the river near their small
village. In the midst of the game, Ken's attention was drawn to a
tourist boat passing by.
Actually, tourist boats were quite common in their area. It was also
common for some of the tourists to take potshots at the birds and
squirrels along the way. This is why Ken's friends were not really
surprised to hear a few small explosions from the boat. They ignored
the sounds and went on with their game.
However, they were startled when they suddenly heard loud cries
for help coming from the boat. They could see that the crew were
running about, panic-stricken. Some people were shouting to them.
"Their engine must have blown up! Look, there's smoke and the boat's
out of control. It's going towards the rapids," Ken pointed out to his friends.
Ken's village was located at the point at which the tourist boats
turned around and headed back upstream. Three kilometers
downstream were the rapids, which spelt trouble for the boats.
"It's heading straight for the rapids! They're in trouble! The boat will
be smashed against the rocks!" Ken exclaimed. "Let's get help!"
The boys sprinted back to the village for help. Along the way, they
met the village headman. Stumbling over his words in his haste, Ken explained the emergency to the headman.
The headman was a man of quick action. Without wasting any time,
he yelled out to some men to help him carry his powerful outboard
motor to the jetty. With the motor tied firmly onto bamboo poles, they
rushed hurriedly down to the jetty.
Their haste was indeed necessary for, by the time the men had
reached the jetty, they saw that the boat was dangerously close to the
rapids. There was not a moment to lose! With quick hands, the
headman attached the outboard motor to his sampan and then sped off
to the rescue.
Upon reaching the tourist boat with bare minutes to spare, the
headman realized his mistake. How could so many tourists be packed
into this small sampan? The headman was filled with despair. Then he
saw the rope that had been used to tie down the outboard motor to the
bamboo poles. It had been flung into the sampan in his haste. Quickly,
he grabbed the rope and flung it to the boatmen on the tourist boat.
"I'll tow you back!" he shouted.
After the boatmen had tied the rope firmly to their boat, the
headman made a swift U-turn and then, putting the engine on full
power, he steered his sampan upstream. The rope gave a jerk and then,
to everyone's relief and joy, the tourist boat moved forward, obediently
following the small sampan.
Loud cheers burst out from the tourist boat and the observers on
the shore. Thanks to the headman's courage, the cooperation from the
villagers, and the quick action of the boys, the tourists were saved from
certain death in the rapids.