Gopal and his and family like to go to the beach during weekends and school
holidays. On some weekends, his parents bring him and his sister, Meena, to the
seaside. Last weekend they went to Pulau Pangkor.
After checking into the
chalet, Meena said eagerly, "Let's go swimming."
She and her brother put on their swimsuits. They walked to the shoreline.
They could see that the tide was quite high. Happily, they walked out into the
water and swam. Their parents shouted at them to be careful and not to swim too
After a good swim, the whole family had a picnic under the coconut tree.
`Their mother had made many types of sandwiches. There were chicken, egg, tuna
and sardine sandwiches. The sandwiches were spread out on a mat on the sand.
Next to the sandwiches were bottles of mineral water. Their mother had also
brought a flask of hot tea. She knew their father liked a cup of hot tea after
eating sandwiches. The whole family enjoyed the sandwich meal. Somehow, they
were thinking that those were the best sandwiches they had ever tasted.
After eating, Gopal's mother cleared the cups and bottles on the mat.
Suddenly, they heard someone shout, "Help! Help! Someone is drowning!" Gopal
looked far out into the sea and saw a child struggling in the water. The strong
wave was sweeping the child away. The child was
drifting in the water. It was obvious that she could not swim. And
there were no lifeguards around.
Gopal could hear more shouts. A girl was saying between sobs, "My little
sister is going to drown. Please someone save her!"
The girls standing around her also started crying. They were helpless for
they could not do anything to save the little girl. Gopal knew he must act fast.
He ran to the sea. He swam as fast as he could to the child. In a few minutes,
he reached the little girl. With his strong arms, he grabbed the child and
pulled her to him.
Meena and her parents were standing on the shore. They were worried for Gopal.
No doubt he was a good swimmer but the waves were very strong. But they felt
relief when they saw him swimming back to
the shore with the child holding onto him.
There was a big crowd of people by then. They saw Gopal carrying the little
girl towards a deckchair. She was still alive! The girl's sister ran to her. She
thanked Gopal for saving her little sister's life.
She kept on saying, "Thank you, thank you! You are so brave." The crowd of
people heard this. They too admired Gopal's bravery and quick action. Soon all
of them were clapping and cheering him on. They even sang 'For he is a
jolly brave fellow, for he is a jolly brave