فصل 06

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فصل 06

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
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CHAPTER SIX

Lost in the River

A large piece of wood hit the cat on the head.

He was swept under and over and over, and was carried away down the river.

The next day the travelers came down from the hills to a river which ran from north to south. It was very wide and deep. The Labrador knew that his two friends hated water. They didn’t even like getting their feet wet. But they all had to get across to the other side.

Luath tried to find a shallow part of the river. Once or twice he went into the water and swam around. He looked back at the other two, inviting them in. But they stayed on the side of the river, sitting close together.

In this lonely, wild country there were no human beings and no bridges. The young dog continued searching for an easy place to cross. But the river got wider and wider, and after four or five kilometers he lost patience. He ran into the water and swam quickly and strongly to the other side. He loved the water and felt completely comfortable in it. He stood on the other side of the river, looking back at the old dog and the cat. He barked loudly, but they looked nervous and afraid.

At last, the young dog swam back to his friends and waited in the shallow water. The terrier joined him, but he was shaking with cold and fear. Once again the Labrador swam across the river, climbed out onto the far side, shook himself, and barked. His bark meant: “You two must follow me! Come on! It’s easy!”

The old dog stepped into the water. The Labrador swam back to help him. This happened three times, and the third time the old dog walked into the river up to his chest. Then he started swimming. He wasn’t a very good swimmer: he held his head high out of the water, and his little black eyes looked scared. But he was a brave bull terrier and he continued following the Labrador. At last he reached the other side and climbed out onto dry land. He ran around happily, lay on his back, and dried himself in the long grass. Then he joined the Labrador at the side of the river and barked at the cat.

The poor cat now showed the first signs of fear on the journey. He was alone and didn’t want to swim across this terrible river. But he had to join his friends on the other side. He ran up and down, crying out to the other two animals.

The young dog swam back and waited in the water.

After a long time, the cat suddenly decided to cross. He ran into the water and started swimming toward the Labrador. He was a surprisingly good swimmer, quickly reaching the middle of the river. But then a terrible accident happened!

There was an old dam on a smaller stream that ran into the river about three kilometers away. It was built from small trees and pieces of wood and wasn’t very strong. Suddenly it broke, and a wave of water poured into the river and hit the two animals! The brave young dog tried to protect the cat, but he was too late. The wave passed over them and a large piece of wood hit the cat on the head.

He was swept under and over and over, and was carried away down the river.

The old dog barked wildly on the side of the river. Then he jumped into the water and swam. He tried to save the cat, but the water knocked him back and he had to swim to the side again. The young dog was a strong swimmer, but he swam with great difficulty. The river carried him a kilometer before he could put his feet down. When he reached dry land, he quickly climbed out onto the grass. He ran down the side of the river, looking for the cat. He could see his little body, half under water. But he was never near enough to catch his friend.

Soon Luath was far behind and couldn’t see Tao at all. He came to a place where steep rocks formed the side of the river. The path took him high above the water. When it came down again, there was no sign of the cat.

It was almost dark when the Labrador returned to the terrier. Bodger was walking toward him along the river, tired and unhappy. The Labrador was exhausted, too. He greeted the old dog and then dropped to the ground. He only got up when he needed a drink.

They spent that night by the side of the river. They lay close together to get comfortable and warm. When a thin, cold rain fell, they moved under an old tree.

In the middle of the night the old dog sat up, shaking with cold. He threw his head back and cried out to the heavy, black sky. He missed his dear, lost friend. He wanted to see him by his side again. At last the young dog got up sadly and the two started their lonely journey again, away from the river and over the hills to the west.

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