Monster Rapids

By Jill Nogales -

“Hey, this water is cold!” Grady yelped as he stepped barefoot into the river.

“Come on, Grady,” I said. “Let’s jump into the raft before we get any wetter.”

“Are you sure about this, Kyle?” Grady asked. He shivered. “The river looks kind of rough. And it’s moving pretty fast. Do you have any idea how deep it is?”

“Don’t worry,” I said. “All you need to know is that rafting trips are fun and exciting.”

Grady is a tough guy. He really is. Except when it comes to water. Then he’s a chicken. I can say that because we have been best friends since we were napping with teddy bears. It’s not like he doesn’t know how to swim. We took five years of swimming lessons together.

“Where’s Tom?” Grady asked. “I thought he was coming rafting with us.”

Tom is my big brother. He taught me everything I know about rafting. Basically, you need a raft, a river, and a life vest. Pretty simple, right?

“Hey Tom, over here!” I yelled.

Tom headed toward me and Grady. Dad was helping him carry his canoe.

“Wow, that’s a cool canoe,” Grady said as Tom and Dad launched the canoe into the water.

“Thanks,” Tom said. “It’s new. Are you ready, guys? Let’s go for a ride!”

Grady and I jumped into our raft. Dad gave Tom’s canoe a shove. Tom hopped into it as it glided into the river.

“I’ll pick you up by the Wilson Bridge,” Dad yelled as we floated away.

Tom’s canoe came up beside our raft. He splashed water on us with his paddle. Tom seemed to think this was funny, until Grady and I splashed him back.

“You guys better stop messing around,” Tom said. “Here comes the first set of rapids.”

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