The Accident
Sofia, Age 11, Basque Country, Spain

The sky was white, with a spot of grey, and the few kids that were there felt cool, out from school. For it was Autumn Camp, a few weeks out of school to sleep in the fresh air! They played in the grass, jumping and shouting, playing fun games, laughing.  A fresh breeze fell from the creamy sky, across the forest, cooling us down, a small chill in the air. I sat, on a branch of a big, big tree, talking and joking with my good friend Lee. Lee is a nice kid, and he loves playing jokes on people. I love doing that too, so we're great friends. But the best jokes happen in camp. For instance, on Monday night we sneaked some rockets into camp and we set one off in a guy´s room!

'Wow, it´s freeee-ZING!!!!' he shivered, pulling on his coat.

'It ain´t cold, you chicken!' shouted Maggie from below, swishing about, laughing around.

'Oi, you shut up!' said Lee defensively, but he was half joking. Maggie out stretched her arm and grabbed a small branch-'I´m coming up!'

The kids played around, and I heard a faint whistle not far away. I smiled. I love camp.

'Hey guys, what are we going to do today?' I asked as Maggie climbed up the tree.

'Watch Maggie loose her balance, slip, fall out of the tree and break her leg!!' laughed Lee.

'Certainly sounds like a good plan!'I grinned.

'Not!' snapped Maggie in her thick Jamaican accent. She struggled, trying to grab the right branch.

'Careful, Mag!' said Lee, his black eyebrows twisted in a weird sort of frown.

'Yeah, d`you need help?' I asked.

'No way!' said Maggie 'Jakey, I can manage!'

She moved her leg and tried to rest her foot on a branch, but she slipped.


'Are you sure you are okay?' I insisted. She gave a half-hearted nod, her cheeks flushing red. Finally she gave a big step, holding on to a big branch. Lee said:

'So, Jake, what do you reckon about Maths homework? I think it´s too much.'

'Yeah' I said 'That old hag, Miss Brown, how did she give us so much homework?? We´re supposed to be on camp, NO HOMEWORK!!'

'Not fair!!'


'MAGGIE???' I yelled, looking down. There she lay, petrified, her skin white, her face pale. Lee rushed down the tree, holding on tight to the branches and running towards her. I quickly followed.

'MAG!' he shouted, not daring touching her 'Maggie.. Are you all right? For Christ ´s sake, answer!!'

But Maggie just lay there, her legs spread out in an awkward way. I reached to her face and touched her with my fingertips. She was cold, dead cold.

'Don´t touch her!' whispered Lee in alarm 'Don´t you remember science class, when we studied bone and muscle injuries? Never move the person that haves a broken bone, arm or leg, even if it´s only a sprain.' he was right. But was Maggies leg broken? Yes, certainly... It was probably broken just a bit below her knee, as it stuck out in an odd direction. I was scared, and I looked around, searching for help.

'Where IS everyone??' I asked.

'They´re gone' said Lee 'Oh my God, they´re gone. Can´t you remember that whistle?' I didn´t know what he was talking about 'Yes' he said 'That whistle. That was the counselor calling us to grab our bags and walk back to camp.'

'Oh God,' I whispered. 'We´re lost'.

I sat on the grassy ground and cried. I felt really stupid and small, and scared. Very scared.

'What about Maggie?'

We stared at our friend that lay there, limp and cold. I gulped.

'She´s not... dead, is she?'

Lee gave a small fake smile:

'Of course not. But we need to do something' he ran to get our backpacks.

'Lucky we´ve got what we need' I whispered, opening my back pack. I took out a torch, a pen knife, and a small first-aid pack every camper had. It was the rule, you weren´t allowed to leave camp without your emergency pack. Inside the little box, I found loads of stuff; bandages, plasters, aspirins, disinfectant, and food; crackers, little rations of meat and a bottle of water.

Lee was quite an expert in "swallowing-a-textbook" kind of knowing things, but if I knew something, I always knew how to do it. So following Lee´s instructions and carefully using all the bandages, I wrapped Maggie´s leg and gave her something to eat, carefully mixing bits of dry meat, crackers and water and pouring them into her mouth. I took my jacket and covered Maggie´s body, and then I put her backpack under her head so she could rest properly. We were still scared, and cold, and the sky was getting dark. Suddenly, Lee said in a small moan:

'I´ve got an idea!' he opened his backpack and produced a small rocket. A rocket! It wasn´t very dangerous and we knew how to use it properly, it was the same kind of rocket we used on one of our practical jokes. Lee walked away and searched in his pocket. Finally he found a small box of matches. He backed away and set it off. The rocket soared into the black sky, small flames shimmering behind. I fell asleep.

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