ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday March 23, 2008
Vol. 42 - No 43
Funday Times

The Paper Boat

By Shireen Senadhira

One day Ruwan got some large glossy papers from his aunt who had a craft shop. He made a big boat with the paper. He also made golden coloured sails and fixed them with ekels so that they stood straight in the boat. It was a beautiful boat. Even mother said so.
Ruwan was very good at making paper boats. He made them from the papers of old magazines, from newspapers, putting cardboard in between to make the paper stiff. He even made tiny boats from the bills his mother got from the shops. Sometimes, in class, if he finished his class work quickly, he tore off some pages from the back of his rough work exercise books and made boats.
During rainy days, he floated many paper boats in the gushing waters in the drains of his house. He floated them in the drain at the front and ran to see them from the back verandah as they sailed by.
So, that night when he went to sleep, he placed his boat with the golden sails on his bedside table. A little later he heard some noises from the paper boat. When he looked at it. Surprise! There were sailors in the boat and they were busy getting ready to sail.
“Hey, what are you doing in my boat?”

“What are you doing, lolling about there?” asked the boat's captain. “Do you want to join us?”
“Then jump in.”
Ruwan did so.
Ruwan saw that his room was filling with ocean water and the waters were lapping against the side of the boat. Ruwan helped the sailors by coiling the rope and placing them neatly on the deck. Then, a big wave came and they whooshed out of the front door of his house and down the road to the park which was a sea. They sailed with the wind on their faces. The wind made the golden sails flutter. The sailors were a merry lot and broke into a sailor's song.
The captain spotted a big boat harboured in a far cove. There seemed to be much activity there. He looked through his telescope and he shouted.
“It's a bandit boat and the bandit sailors are harassing the people on the shore.” He gave orders to his crew to sail their boat behind the other boat.

As they came near, they all saw that the bandits had jumped ashore and were taking all the valuables and food from the houses on the coast.
The captain gave the order.
“Attention crew, get ready for battle and jump ashore!”
With the order, his sailors took their swords and some jumped ashore. Someone thrust a sword into Ruwan's hand too. He too jumped with them. There was a big battle on the ground. Ruwan fought bravely alongside his sailor friends. They managed to injure most of the bandit sailors, who soon fled to their big boat and quickly sailed away. Ruwan shouted hurrah with his friends and sang a victory song.
The shore people thanked the captain and the sailors. They brought out food and drink. The crew enjoyed the feast as they were quite tired after the battle. Ruwan was so full of excitement.
Next, they went aboard with the shore people shouting their good wishes. Then, they sailed back to Ruwan's room and dropped him into his bed.


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