Simon lived in a village where he had to cross a stream to get to school. Whenever the rain fell, the water would rise above the bridge and make it impassable. Simon had attempted to cross the bridge one day after the rain fell, because the journey through the stream cut the journey to school in half. He stood there watching the water and when he felt brave enough he tried to go across. No sooner had he stepped onto the bridge than it began to sink lower into the water, until the water was almost at his knees. The ropes had gotten slippery as well so he could barely hang on. Had it not been for someone passing by that way at that very moment, he was not sure what would have happened to him.
When Simon came home one day from school, he realised he had a new neighbour, and there was a little boy about his age that he could play with. This made Simon very happy that he would have a new friend and he was especially glad to hear that the little boy would be going to his school as well. They walked to school every day and when they came home, they played under the trees in their backyards.
One morning they woke up and it was raining, but by the time they got dressed, the rain had stopped. Simon told Neville that he was not going to walk across the stream because it was dangerous after the rain fell. Neville kept insisting that Simon was a coward, so Simon told him what had happened to him. Neville thought that Simon must have been too weak and that was why he could not go across. Simon told him that he was going to walk all the way around, just to be safe.
Neville went down the track and to the stream. An elderly man, noticing the young boy heading that way, went after him. Luckily for Neville he did follow him, for he was stuck in the middle of the stream, clinging to the ropes and crying. The old man asked him if no one had told him not to walk that way when it rained. He cried out that Simon did, but he did not listen.
Sometimes it is best to take the advice of others when we don’t have an opinion yet for ourselves. Some lessons are best learned through others.
By Kerry Ann Stewart
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