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From Athenea Nash Aros Ms Melhuish
A Secret Place
We've come down close to a river, in a wide valley. Thick forest everywhere. Dad may be badly hurt. I can't remember much about the crash. I don't know what to do.
A miserable night. Mozzies by the hundred, and dad restless or groaning most of the time. The first-aid booklet says I have to make him drink. Took the empty water container down to the River. I heard something swish through the undergrowth and plop into the water. A crocodile? I didn't wait to find out
The wind did the rest. I'm amazed that I didn't notice the tree earlier. I've wonder what else I've missed? Dad may be a little cooler. I can't help feeling more hopeful. If the flies over again...If.
We were hoping to leave today, but the rain has hardly let up. Each time I've gone down to the river the crocodile has been there. It only moved once, when I tested the raft What did happen was that the raft heeled dangerously the moment I shifted my weight slightly off-centre. If I'd gone in...! So what's the alternative? To stay here? As captives of the forest? Now, I could almost... No, that's a scary idea, for dad's sake we have to do our best to leave.
The clack-clack-clack of the helicopter, followed by a downrush of blustery wind. The men who were lowered through the canopy stood staring at us in amazement. To them, we must have seemed like savages who'd crawled out of the dim and instant past our clothes blood, stained and filthy, our arms and face smeared with layers of dry mud. Three days have been passed since the rescue. Dad's alright, and I'm well on my way home. Right at this moment I'm flying in over Sydney, with a clear view of the harbour. I've learned that much from the crash. If the future exists at all, it's a past.
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