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The Young Hero

Updated on March 17, 2017
Gwenneth Leane profile image

Gwen has written numerous short pieces of fiction with various themes. She enjoys writing short stories because they are slices of life

The Young Hero


On being a Lion or Sheep


Superman, Spider Man, Super Mum, Super Dad,

The word "hero" or "heroine" is sometimes used simply to describe the protagonist of a story, or the love interest, a usage which can conflict with the superhuman expectations of heroism. William Makepeace Thackeray gave Vanity Fair the subtitle A Novel without a Hero.

In modern movies, the hero is often simply an ordinary person in extraordinary circumstances, who, despite the odds being stacked against him or her, typically prevails in the end. In some movies (especially action movies), a hero may exhibit characteristics such as superhuman strength and endurance to the point of the hero being nearly invincible. Often a hero in these situations has a foil, the villain, typically a charismatic evildoer who represents, leads, or embodies the struggle the hero is up against. Post-modern fictional works have fomented the increased popularity of the antihero, who does not follow common conceptions of heroism. Examples of modern heroes are Harry Potter, Katniss Everdeen, Percy Jackson, Bilbo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, and Superman. Sourced from Wikipedia

Schooled up on the Beach

“Jason!” his mother called from the kitchen where she was getting breakfast and packing his lunch. “It’s time you were dressed and had your breakfast.”

“Coming, Mum.” Jason hurried into the kitchen, grabbed the cereal packet, and tipped a generous portion into his bowl.

“”You going to swim the river today,” his mother smiled at the mountain of cornflakes.

“Yeah, Mum. Big day today, might even win my race.”

“Well, don’t swim after you have eaten your lunch for a while and be careful, won’t you.”

“Yeah, Mum.” Jason was impatient of his mother’s fussing. Picking up his bag with towel, bathers, and lunch, stuffing his money into a side pocket, he aimed a kiss at his mother’s cheek,

“ See ya later, Ma.”

“G’bye.” Ruth Hunt smiled indulgently as her son slammed out of the house, hurrying for the bus. She was full of motherly pride. Well, she excused, comparing her twelve year old son with other kids she knew, he’s not an angel, but he’s not a bad kid either and I can trust him to behave himself.

At school, Jason fell into line with his class and they filed onto the bus standing at the curb waiting to take them to the beach.

School Trip to Brighton

A markerBrighton Jetty -
Brighton Jetty, Brighton SA 5048, Australia
get directions

Off the Leash

At the beach, the teacher held them in line on the curb, controlling their exuberance at the sight of a cool green ocean, golden sand and blue sky. Gulls swooped and dived in graceful arcs across the sky

‘If there is any mucking about you will be barred from entering the races,’ Miss James’s eyes rested meaningfully on Jason.

Eventually Jason was in the water. He felt a tug on his feet and down he went under the water. He came up spouting water like a porpoise, shaking wet hair from his eyes. “Who did that?’ he gasped. Nearest to him was Tim and Jason slapped the water, spraying Tim’s face, he ducked to escape the shower and returned the spray.

A whistle blew and it was time to return to the beach. “It is time to eat.” Miss James called. “When you’ve eaten you can go for a walk along the jetty while your lunch settles.”

Everyone huddled into their towels and sat around like penguins in coloured coats. Lunch wraps opened with a rustle of paper. In the space of a few minutes the sandwiches and fruit were disposed of, a bag passed around for empty papers.

“Please, Miss, we’ve finished our lunch, can we go for a walk along the jetty?” Jason inquired respectfully.

“Please wait until we can all go. Let ‘s all walk in an orderly fashion so no one gets lost.”

“Old bat! Why can’t we go now? We’re not babies.” Jason retorted under his breath, to Tim.

“We might get lost or abducted,” Tim mimicked. A giggle went around those standing nearby. Miss James’ glared at Jason. That kid is a troublemaker I would like to pass him onto Mr. Holt.

The beach was now full of people celebrating the first day of summer. Families clustered under coloured umbrellas gave the beach a festive air. Bodies, lay browning like sautéed onions, in the sun. A large group of young men lounging near the piers supporting the jetty began to noisily throwing the tinnies they had emptied, at each other. Passers-by who caught their attention came in for foul verbal abuse. The group soon became isolated because of their behavior.

Miss James led her charges onto the jetty. The sea crinkled with dancing pinpricks of light.

Dad - the greatest hero of them all. Parental supervision is important to the safety of children in the water.Parents need to be aware all the time around pools


'But I Didn't'

Jason could not resist a hop, step and jump. Miss James caught the movement from the corner of her eye.

‘Jason Hunt if you step out of line once more you will go and sit in the bus until we leave for home.’

“But Miss I didn’t” ---

“That is enough. I will not have you cheeking me.” Miss James cut off Jason’s explanation.

Silence fell over the class and they walked along the jetty under a cloud of mutinous silence. Each child registered the teacher’s frustration. Miss James was sure touchy today. She was usually such fun.

Scuba Diving - overcoming fear. Children need to learn confidence in water and how to behave around water.There is no harm in children learning to do things in


An Historic Hero - Heracles

Heracles was a divine hero in Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and Alcmene, foster son of Amphitryon and great-grandson (and half-brother) of Perseus. He was the greatest of the Greek heroes, a paragon of masculinity, the ancestor of royal clans who claimed to be Heracleidae and a champion of the Olympian order against chthonic monsters. In Rome and the modern West, he is known as Hercules, with whom the later Roman Emperors, in particular Commodus and Maximian, often identified themselves. The Romans adopted the Greek version of his life and works essentially unchanged, but added anecdotal detail of their own, some of it linking the hero with the geography of the Central Mediterranean. Details of his cult were adapted to Rome as well.

Extraordinary strength, courage, ingenuity, and sexual prowess with both males and females were among the characteristics commonly attributed to him. Heracles used his wits on several occasions when his strength did not suffice, such as when laboring for the king Augeas of Elis, wrestling the giant Antaeus, or tricking Atlas into taking the sky back onto his shoulders. His iconographic attributes are the lion skin and the club. These qualities did not prevent him from being regarded as a playful figure who used games to relax from his labors and played a great deal with children.

Sourced from Wikipedia

Ten Safety Tips for Kids in the Pool

But it Will be Too Late

Just then, a girl pushed passed the boys, to stand poised on the edge of the jetty, ready to dive into the cool green depths.

Rachel Gibbs was taking her first swim of the year. The cool green depths beckoned and she arced off the jetty in a graceful curve. Her dive turned into a belly flop and she sank like a stone, to lay there a white ghostly figure on the bottom.

Jason had watched Rachel’s dive. He had noticed her flop into the water and wondered what had happened to spoil the dive. He rushed to the edge.

“Come back, Jason. You’re grounded,” yelled Miss James. Jason glanced over his shoulder, “Miss, she’s hurt. We’ve got to save her.”

“You come away from the edge. I don’t want to have to rescue you.” Miss James reached for Jason’s arm.

“She’ll be OK,” a dark haired woman standing nearby, said, “I’ve seen her diving many times.”

“But it will be too late.” Jason was frightened. He had learnt that it did not take long to drown. Jase thought he saw movement under the water. He was sure she was trying to move. He looked at Miss James, a disapproving statue. He glanced around, only one or two people were standing nearby but they ignored the girl under the water.

Without further thought, Jason dived in.

“Jason you come…,” roared Miss James.

Jason concentrated on all that he had learned in life saving lessons as he curved through the air and down to the stricken girl.

He clasped her under the arms, struggling to raise her to the surface. The girl was like a log, being much bigger than him. Water broke as Jason and the girl surfaced.

“Help, someone, she’s drowning.”

The onlookers seemed hypnotized. Jason struggled for the shore. Just when he thought his strength had run out, his feet touched hard ground. Chest heaving like a pair of bellows, he tugged her unceremoniously out of the reach of the waves and turned her on her side

“Help! Someone help,’ he appealed to the crowd on the jetty. Rachel would die if he didn’t soon get help. He ran to the party of young men,

“Please get an ambulance. She’ll die.”

“Nah! We’re having a beer. Buzz off.” They lifted tinnies to their lips. Jason looked toward the Surf Lifesaving rooms. The run to the Club was quite a sprint. Jason raced off.

“Help! A girl is drowning. Get an ambulance,” he gasped between breaths to a muscular brown man staring seaward on the balcony.

Men came from everywhere, orders given in quick fire succession, and someone asked him, “Where is she?”

He gasped, “By the jetty.”

Brown skinned lifesavers raced along the beach to Rachel’s side. They worked over her calmly and efficiently.

“Whatcher doin’mate?” One of the rowdies called.

“Kissin’ ‘er. ‘Er Mummy will ‘ave a piece of yer.”

One or two of the drink induced brave, staggered over, “She’s just puttin’ it on to get attention, mate.”

One of the lifesavers looked up, “Please give us room. We need to keep working on this girl, her life is at stake.”

“Aw, don’t pull our leg,” and a glob of spit landed on the hand of one of the lifesavers.

The lifesaver stood and looked at the spitter, menace in his very stance. The message was loud and clear, though not a word said. The spitter and his mates sheepishly guffawing in a show of bravado, departed.

The Bravest Boy - his first hair cut can be traumatic, his first time in the water can be traumatic but parents or supervisors can make that first time a joy.


Four Categories Revealing Percentages of Drownings

• 271 people drowned in Australian waterways between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015 • This year’s figure of 271 drowning deaths is an increase of 5 drowning deaths (or 1.9%) on the 266 drowning deaths recorded in 2013/14 • This is a reduction of 17 deaths (or 5.9%) on the 10 year average of 288 drowning deaths.

SEX AND AGE GROUP • 80% of all drowning deaths were male (216 drowning deaths) • 20% of all drowning deaths were female (55 drowning deaths) • 26 (10%) drowning deaths occurred in children aged 0-4 years • 9 (3%) drowning deaths occurred in children aged 5-14 years • 23 (9%) drowning deaths occurred in young people aged 15-24 years • 89 (33%) drowning deaths occurred in people aged 55 years and over

STATE AND TERRITORY • 100 (37%) drowning deaths occurred in New South Wales • 62 (23%) drowning deaths occurred in Queensland • 39 (14%) drowning deaths occurred in Victoria • 39 (14%) drowning deaths occurred in Western Australia

LOCATION AND ACTIVITY • 99 (37%) drowning deaths occurred in inland waterways • 55 (20%) drowning deaths occurred at beaches • 36 (13%) drowning deaths occurred in ocean / harbour locations • 63 people (23%) were swimming and recreating immediately prior to drowning • 53 people (20%) were using watercraft immediately prior to drowning • 43 people (16%) drowned as a

She's All Right Isn't She

Rachel took a breath, albeit a shaky one just as the ambulance arrived. The Ambulance Officers placed Rachel on a stretcher and raced to hospital.

“What’s going on here?” Constable Crease asked, arriving in the wake of the ambulance.

“This boy just saved the life of a girl, who dived off the jetty and got into trouble.” A lifesaver spoke.

“Where does the kid come from?”

Miss James ran puffing up to the group, said, “I’m his teacher. The class is on a school excursion.”

“Miss, you must be proud of him. He did a wonderful job in saving the girl. He’s a very brave boy,” Constable Crease exclaimed.

“Oh. Yes,” Miss James stammered, “I’m proud to have him in my class.” Her face wreathed in smiles, so different from her demeanor a short while ago.

When the class returned to school, Jason expected grounding for disobeying. Instead, the Headmaster praised him, “Jason, I’m going to nominate you for a bravery award. What you did today was a very unselfish thing.”

“Rachel needed help and I just gave that help?”

Jason was puzzled. That night when his mother came to say goodnight, he said, “Mum, I didn’t get to race today.”

“No but you helped a girl to live.”

“She’s all right isn’t she?” Jason yawned

“Yes, she’ll live, thanks to you.”

‘I remembered what I’d learnt at the Learn to Swim Campaign. Mum, why did those guys behave like dills? Rachel would have died if I hadn’t helped her.”

Ruth Hunt opened her mouth to explain, but Jason was sound asleep.

Scared Stiff


The Question Is?

What makes a Hero

* Training in life saving

* Being brave

* Being a child

* Being an adult

* Being physically strong

* What age do you have to be to be brave

* Being afraid

* Being weak

© 2015 Gwenneth Leane


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