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Tiffany Hii Siang Ting

Student Success > Scholastic Writing Awards


I Woke Up To The Sound Of Running Water……


I woke up to the sound of running water. Sitting up in bed, I realized that my mattress was soaking wet. Still in a daze, I flinched as large, cold drops of water splashed on my head. I looked up in confusion and noticed the roof, sheltering me from the pouring rain last night, was leaking and water was pouring in from the slits between the corners of the wooden walls.

Suddenly, the window burst open and water gushed in. I glanced out of the window and was shocked to see the whole wooden hut swept into a raging river!

Filled with confusion, I recalled the fact that my dog and I were on a camping trip by the riverside, in the virgin forest of Sarawak. Then, it dawned on me… the river must have swelled up from the heavy down pour causing it to overflow its banks, uprooting the hut from the stilts and carrying it into the raging water!

We were alone in the middle of nowhere, with no contact with human civilisation. Hearing a faint whimper, I looked out the window and spotted my dog, Baxter in the water. Without thinking twice, I plunged into the chilly water to save him. In an instant, I was overpowered by the swift currents and was swept away. Gasping for air, I struggled to stay afloat as I was being engulfed by the untamed water. Despite all my efforts, the river managed to swallow me.

Just as all hope was lost; my arm got entangled in a vine that floated out from the nearby river bank. With hope returning, I quickly grasped Baxter's ruffled tail and we hung on for dear life. After the river had calmed down a bit, Baxter and I scrambled onto the bank. Never had I ever felt so relieved to have my legs standing on solid ground, and that we had survived this catastrophic experience where we were pushed to the brink of death.

We spent the rest of the night in the dense forest, filled with endless diversity of wildlife. We fell asleep to the natural lullaby of animal calls. The sound of birds singing, a midnight orchestra performed by the insects… these were the sounds that accompanied us into our dreams.

At the first light of morning, we ventured into the lush forest to forage for food. Suddenly, I felt a chill run down my spine as I sensed that we were being watched. Looking around, I noticed gleaming eyes surrounding us. When a blood-curdling howl filled the air, Baxter cowardly snuggled in between my legs. We must have wandered into the territory of ferocious and unfriendly creatures!

A glimpse of those creatures had already revealed their identities. They had mangy fur, and piercing, blood-shot eyes. Their gaping mouths were lined with razor-sharp teeth and saliva was trickling down their jaws. Wolves! They looked like beasts from a horror movie and we were on their menu!

I fled to the nearest climbable tree with Baxter under one arm, and relying on the other arm, I pulled myself up the tree. The wolves violently tried to take bites at us, snarling as they waited for the opportunity to have a feast. Soon, the branch sustaining us gave way and we fell onto a much lower branch just inches away from the snapping jaws below us.

Standing up, I saw smoke rising in the distance as if from a fire. I gathered all my strength, cleared my throat, and gave a piercing scream for help. After a few minutes the branch under us started to creak and crack. To release the tension from the branch, Baxter jumped down to face the wolves. But he did not stand a chance - within a minute he was pinned to the ground. I could not bear seeing Baxter being ripped into pieces, but risking my life could be even worse. Even so, how could I let a dog save me? I would be a disgrace to all human kind if I did not take action.

Pulling myself together, I grabbed an over-hanging branch and leaped to the ground in front of Baxter to fend off the wolf pack. But in a matter of seconds we were surrounded with no chance of escape. Cuddling Baxter, I said a prayer and accepted our fate.

But just as the wolves closed in, a cluster of arrows whizzed through the air, striking some of the wolves. As they fell, lifeless, to the ground, the other wolves retreated and dashed out of sight. In the midst of the confusion, I twisted my ankle and lay helplessly on the ground, thanking God for sparing our lives.

A group of forest natives had come to our rescue. They carried me back to their village and, although I was grateful to them, I also felt uneasy as they spoke 'gibberish' to one another while looking at me: I kept thinking of certain tribes who were supposed to be head hunters and even cannibals. However, to my relief, they tended to my injuries instead of sacrificing me to their gods. They then invited us to eat with them. Ironically, the wolves were now served to us - and we eagerly devoured the barbequed meat to satisfy our hunger.

Finally, I was rescued from this disastrous nightmare, where I had to struggle for survival, and returned to the arms of safety. From now onwards, I will regard Mother Nature with more respect. So be warned when entering any virgin forest alone: Always expect the unexpected!!


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