Tom Chapman’s Short Stories
One Saturday Josh was out with his dogs a long way from home. He often took his dogs out for a long walk along the creek. Usually they saw a few rabbits along the bank or wild ducks in the water, but this day the dogs were suddenly very excited. They were barking at something over the edge of the bank where it went down steeply into the creek. Josh ran to see what they were barking at.
When he looked over he saw another boy from his class at school. It was Ben, who didn't like Josh very much.
Ben had slipped from the top of the bank and nearly fallen into the water, but he had become stuck between some big rocks near the bottom and couldn't move, or get himself out.
Ben always liked to be the best at everything, and didn't like anybody who beat him. Of course Josh always came first in the running, and Ben tried to do things to Josh to hurt him so he would not be able to run so fast. One time Ben even rode his bike into Josh's legs to make them too sore to run. Josh was not hurt too much though and could still run fast and for a long way.
Josh looked down and wondered about Ben.
Ben had hurt Josh a few times, and now Ben was hurting with skin off his legs where they were jammed against the rock. He tried to be brave, but when he saw Josh he cried a little bit and called out, "Please get somebody to help me Josh."
At first Josh thought to himself, "He's always been nasty to me, why should I help him. His Dad will probably come looking for him later, so he can just stay there till someone finds him."
So Josh started to walk away.
When Ben saw him going he really cried, and pleaded with him, "Please Josh, get somebody to help me. My legs are hurting and stinging, and I can feel blood running down into my sneakers. I'm stuck and I can't move."
But now Josh thought, "If that was me stuck there I wouldn't want to be waiting a few hours for someone to find me, especially if there was somebody here already, even if it was Ben."
He called out to Ben, "OK Ben, I'll run home as fast as I can and get my Dad."
Josh ran. He ran fast - very fast, and he ran a long way - it was a very long way, but he knew he had to get help to Ben as soon as possible.
Dad saw him coming and knew something was wrong.
"Quick,- -" he said between breaths, "Ben's fallen over the edge - - of the creek bank, - - and has hurt himself. - - He's stuck and can't - - get himself out."
Dad grabbed some rope, then he and Josh jumped in the ute, and they quickly drove to where Ben was.
Ben was still there but he had been struggling to get free and he was tired out and feeling weak now, and his legs were hurting more than ever. Dad climbed down and tied the rope around Ben just under his arms, and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and at last pulled Ben loose.
Ben was so pleased to be rescued, but his sore legs needed to be washed and bandaged, so Josh's dad took him home to their place, cleaned his wounds, put some ointment on them, and bandaged them up. Then Dad drove him home to his own place.
On Monday morning Ben was at school, but he was limping a bit, because his legs were still very sore.
He found Josh and said to him, "Thanks Josh, for what you did on Saturday. You got help for me so quickly, and you weren't even my friend. I'm really sorry for being so nasty to you, but I'm so glad that I didn't ever hurt your legs to stop you from running. Your fast legs saved me on Saturday."
Ben sobbed a bit, then he added, "Josh, do you think we could be mates from now on?"
Josh didn't hesitate, "I think that would be good Ben."