A Narrow Escape
       “Wow! Magnificent!” “Fascinating!” Exclamations were uttered by my classmates. I was so engrossed taking in the breath-taking scenery around me that I did not even catch any of my teacher’s words.

       It was mid-June and my teacher, Miss Cheah, decided to bring us to Taiwan for an excursion. We were going to stay there for a week! On the first day, my teacher brought us to the Kenting nature reserve and here we were, enjoying the verdure trees, the azure sky and the sweet smell of the grass under our feet.

       We were on top of a mountain and viewing the lakes, volcanoes and the coral reefs. Sometimes, a jade-green bird with pearl white wings would fly past and sometimes a lark would sing one of its loveliest songs for all to enjoy. Then a flock of wild ducks would flap their magnificent wings and soar high across the horizon, adding colours to the sky.

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       “Aarrgh!” a sharp scream pierced through the still air. Birds resting in trees got frightened, took off and disappeared into another forest. I turned back, ready to tell off the person who screamed. To my surprise, I saw my best friend, Laura, hanging on to a delicate-looking plant like grim death. She had fallen off the cliff. “Help me, Pamela! I cannot hold on any longer!” Laura pleaded. I was terrified and seemed rooted to the ground. Then the plant which Laura was holding onto cracked. By then, Laura was struggling helplessly. Cold sweat broke out within me. The next thing I knew was ... the plant broke.

       I shut my eyes and tried to keep out the grievous scream which stopped almost instantly. “Pamela, help! Quick!” I heard Miss Cheah shout. My eyes snapped open and the next thing I knew, I was holding on to Miss Cheah, who was clasping Laura’s hand. I pulled as hard as I could. Then nearly the whole class was pulling back as vigorously as possible, while the others ran to get the forest rangers. Laura on the other hand, was cooperating with us by not struggling. It was a hard job and Miss Cheah nearly lost her clasp on Laura’s hand, but Laura did not scream or struggle. She kept herself calm.

       After half an hour’s work, we finally pulled Laura up and the rangers came to our aid. They applied medicine on Laura’s cuts and bruises. They washed her wounded hands and legs too. Laura’s tear-streaked face broke into a smile which put my heart at rest.

       Later in the day, I apologized to Laura for my slow response which might have led to her death. “Don’t be upset, my response would be even slower if I were you!” Laura assured me. I sighed with relief. Both of us, including Miss Cheah and the rest of the class, slept well. We were all tired after the eventful day.