Page 49 - Book 3 - (barcoded)
P. 49

The Wylder Valley 47
The raft drifted past willow trees. Alfie and Sam navigated an awkward bend and the craft gathered speed in a sudden wind. They waved to curious animals pointing on the river bank.
Sailing past Wyldersham, Charlie saluted. 'I can see the wooden bridge ahead. Go steady now; another bend to the left.'
Charlie had forgotten just what lay around the bend. Straight ahead, sat two enormous boulders on either side of the river. 'Look out,' roared Sam. 'We're going to capsize.'
'Never!' shouted Charlie. 'Hold tight, kids. Move the paddles one at a time, Sam.'
Alfie struck the water to bring the raft to the left. Sam did the same on the right side. Little by little they held their position and sailed between the boulders. Here, the water began to swirl and so did the raft. Alfie and Sam raised the paddles and let the river take them for a while before crashing into a sandbank under the bridge.
'We're sinking!' yelled Matty. 'Jump out! Jump out!'
He and Charlie stayed on board whilst the others waded to the dry bank. With less weight, the raft began to rise and shift. A small brown head, with shiny black eyes, popped out of the water.
'Need a hand, chaps?' asked a familiar voice.
'Otter, thank goodness,' cried Matty as he tried to control the raft with one paddle. 'Can you push us to the other side, please? We have to take the cart off.'

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