Amazing Kids! Magazine

Dragon Boat

By Jessica Chan, age 10


I opened the book, and out slipped a photograph. Attached to the photograph was an announcement for the Dragon Boat Festival. It looked so interesting that I decided to ask my mom if I could go.

“Mommy! Can I go to the Dragon Boat Festival at Stanley Beach?” I cried.

“No!” replied Mom.

“Why?” I questioned.

“You can’t go because I’m worried about your safety. You’re too young to go out by yourself!” Mom sighed.

“I just want to see it with brother Chang!” I begged.

“No means no, Guang! Go to your room! I don’t want you bugging me!” Mom snapped impatiently.

So I went into my room.

That night I waited for Mom to go to sleep. Twenty minutes passed, then thirty minutes passed, then an hour. Finally, I heard my mom’s bed creak, which meant she was finally going to sleep. I didn’t know what time it was, so I took a peek at the digital clock.

11:16 p.m.

“Good,” I thought. Just in time to sneak out! I went to my brother’s bedroom and saw that he was still awake.

“Do you want to go to check out the boats in Stanley with me?”

“Yes, I would like to, but remember what mom told you about going to the festival? We’re not allowed!” Chang exclaimed nervously.

“It’s now or never!” I told Chang.

Chang answered, “Okay, I’ll go.”

So Chang and I sneaked out of the house and headed off on our way to the beach.

When we reached the ocean, we saw boats with the claws of an eagle, the scales of a snake, the tail of a fish, and the mane of a horse. It was so cool to see such interesting features on a dragon boat. As Chang and I were approaching the first boat, he stopped me.

“Are you sure Mom will be okay with this, Guang?” Chang gulped.

“Just stop thinking about negative things, Chang!” I responded.

So we hopped onto the boat closest to shore and found a paddle. As we started to row, the paddle seemed to get heavier every minute. Soon, I dropped the paddle, and it floated away.

“Chang!” I complained. “I lost the paddle!”

“Go get it yourself! I am only coming for the ride. I am not helping you get your paddle!” Chang lazily groaned.

I had no choice but to get it myself. I first attempted to get the paddle just by grabbing it, but my arms weren’t long enough to reach it. When I tried the second time, I fell into the water!

“Help, Chang!” I yelled.

“What?” he retorted.

“Can’t you see what is happening here? Do you have eyes to see?” I screeched.

Just then, I saw whiskers coming out of the waves. I had no idea what it was, but I knew I should get out of the water as quickly as possible. I tried to get back onto the boat by pulling myself up the edge, but it was hopeless. I saw the whiskers becoming longer, and soon a big, oval-shaped mouth with sharp teeth appeared out of the water.

“AHH!” I screamed.

I felt a strong grip on my leg.

“Chang!” I yelped in fear. “I got bit! Your sister is drowning! Help!”

Chang finally looked at me and gasped when he saw the blood in the water.

I swam to the back of the boat and waited for Chang to do something.

“I found the paddle!” Chang announced.

I couldn’t say anything because of the pain my wound was causing.

As Chang paddled to shore pulling me at the back of the boat, a trail of blood followed behind me.

Mom was awake by the time we arrived back home.

As we entered the front door, she demanded, “What happened? What are you doing out so early in the morning?”

I stammered, “I went to Stanley beach to go for a ride on a dragon boat…”

“WHAT?” Mom shouted.

I responded, “Please let me finish! Then I dropped the paddle and tried to get it. I fell off and got bitten by a catfish.”

It actually seemed as if Mom was more worried than angry as she boiled some green tea to put on my bite.

The next morning Mom exclaimed, “Since you like to swim with fish so much, you have to feed our family coy fish in the pond for three months. This is your punishment for disobeying me.” I felt miserable!

Every time I think about that night, I remember the aching pain and how much trouble I got into. Ever since then, Chang and I have not sneaked out of the house or disobeyed my mom.