Hold on Tightly. A beautifully written story by one of our year 6 pupils, Grace.
Hold on Tightly
A short story by Grace Beaton
It was a bright and sunny day, the sort of day that requires sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. On days like this, Freddie liked nothing better than going out in the family rowing boat with his dad and older brother Ben.
Freddie lived in a small village in the east of Cornwall. He was a confident young man, whose daring exploits sometimes got him into mischief, but this didn’t stop Freddie from seeking out adventure.
On this particularly hot day, Freddie decided (at the ripe old age of twelve), that he was experienced enough to take the boat out by himself. He packed a bag with some snacks, a water bottle and a few comics. He went to the garage and collected his favourite fishing rod, the special wooden one that his grandfather had given him when he was only nine. He also took Barney, the family dog. Barney was an energetic border collie, who moved like lightning but was as gentle as a lamb. Freddie and Barney were inseparable and they both liked their fair share of fun.
Barney pulled hard on his lead as they walked along the jetty. There she was, varnish glistening in the sunshine. The family rowing boat bobbed gently as she waited patiently for her crew. Freddie lifted Barney into the boat and climbed aboard himself.
It didn’t take them long to row out of the harbour into the open sea. The waves gently lapped at the sides of the boat and Barney curiously watched bubbles as they rose to the surface.
Freddie worked hard to keep the boat moving out to sea. He rowed and rowed and despite being a skinny boy, with ribs that poked through his t-shirt, he made good progress. Freddie’s hair was as red as fire, with a crop of curls that rested above his eyes. His skin was pale and freckles littered his face.
When Freddie was about a mile offshore he dropped the boat's anchor, fixed bait to the end of his line and began to patiently wait for the fish to bite. The late afternoon sun was intense, in fact it made Freddie feel rather sleepy. He lay down and rested his head.
All of a sudden, Freddie felt a cold, wet nose nudging his cheek. He wiped some drool from the side of his mouth and opened his eyes. To his surprise the sun had been replaced with the moon and the once warm sunny day was now dark and cold. The waves crashed hard against the small boat. It rocked ferociously from side to side like a fairground ride, tossing Freddie and Barney about. Freddie could hear a distant rumbling coming from the shore. He could see heavy blacks clouds overhead and then the rain started. He frantically grabbed the oars and began to row. The tide was helping, pushing him closer to land. He could see the lighthouse beam shining brightly. His boat being pushed closer and closer to the rocks. Freddie could feel his heart racing, he knew that they were in real danger. Barney nestled in close for comfort just as the waves started to break against the little boat. Water flooding in. All of a sudden a gigantic wave smashed them against a rock. The wood cracked and Freddie fell into the icy water. Barney yelped and barked and Freddie grabbed his lead. They both swam hard trying to keep their heads above the water until they reached a tall thin rock. Freddie wrapped his arms and legs around it, whilst holding tight to Barney. Freddie held on for what felt like hours, fighting hard to keep his eyes open. His whole body in agony.
Just as Freddie thought he couldn’t hold on any longer, he heard a faint whirring sound in the distance. It was a helicopter. Freddie mustered up all of his strength and started shouting and waving with one arm. To his relief the helicopter stopped directly overhead and he watched as a man was winched down to rescue him. As he was pulled up he could feel Barney shivering against him. He was unconscious and his breathing was laboured.
The next thing Freddie felt was a cold wet nose nudging his cheek. He opened his eyes to find Barney standing on his hospital bed.