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U3A Writing: The Gentle Touch

Young Terrance falls into the “dam’’, but his luck is in because a “giant’’ is on hand to rescue him. Stella Leonard tells a cheering tale.

When Terrance first fell into the dam, he wasn’t worried. As a good swimmer he was sure he could climb over the side onto dry land again. A very long time had passed, and now Terrance was beginning to panic. The walls of the dam were so slippery he could not get a grip and exhaustion was beginning to overtake him.

Surely his mother, or brother or sister would be looking for him and getting anxious. They would search the grassy area where he was playing so he must hold on until help came. Terrance floated on top of the water, dozing off into semi consciousness as a dazzling sun rose high in the sky and warmed his body. It was a perfect summers day. Bees were buzzing in the honeysuckle, weavers were building their nests and everyone was going about their business except Terrance.

His mother had warned him not to stray from home, and now that the sun was really hot his skin felt wrinkly and dried out. He could not hold on for much longer.

Suddenly the sun was blotted out by a large shadow looming over him. It was not his mother or brother or sister. A huge creature was gazing at him with interest and he quickly sank below the surface hoping to remain invisible. The water began to heave back and forwards like waves rolling over his body, threatening to extinguish his life. Terrance was too tired to fight any more, he gave himself up to fate.

The world seemed to turn upside down. A great waterfall sent him catapulting into the air, then tumbling down onto the soft green grass. The creature gently stroked his head.

‘That was a narrow escape Froggie. Jumping into the dog’s bowl is not good for your health’. Young Sarah Jane with all the wisdom of a 12 year old smiled, as Terrance hopped into the bushes where his family was waiting. She picked up the large oval washing up bowl and filled it with fresh water for her basset hound.

Terrance was not to know that every morning in summer Sarah Jane looked in the bowl, and regularly rescued baby frogs. He was her fourth catch this season.

That evening sitting in the garden with her mother and father, she listened to the chorus of bullfrogs chirping in the field next door. Her mother complained about the noise, but Sarah Jane laughed happily, knowing that one tiny frog would be singing his heart out just for the joy of being alive


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