The students gathered around the Master, imploring him to join them for a day on the nearby lake.
“Master, all need to take a break.” The students said.
The Master smiled as they had learned one lesson well. “I cannot swim. He finally responded.
“We will make sure you are ok.” The students said.
They all walked the winding trail to the lake. There were boats pulled on the shore for any to use, and they all got into the boats. The two strongest swimmers got into the boat with the Master, and they paddled off into the lake. As they came to the center of the lake about 40 yards from shore, a sudden gust of wind flipped the fragile craft. An oar, loosened from its holder, slammed both the good swimmers in the head, knocking them unconscious. The second boat raced to grab the two good swimmers before the drowned. The Master was thrown clear of the ship. A little further than the two good simmers. For a second, he was able to stay above the water. But then, like most who cannot swim, he sank below the surface. The second boat struggled mightly to bring the two students on board and get to the Master.
A stray dog was walking on the beach and saw the human situation. Perhaps, the dog smiled to itself. But then, seeing the Master go under, the dog leaped into the water and swam quickly to where the Master had been. Spotting a bit of the master cloth near the surface, the dog grabbed it and pulled. The Master resurfaced spewing water. The dog began towing him to shore. The Master did not struggle.
When they arrived at the shore, the dog stood by the Master. The students ran to the Master.
“Master, we are so sorry, we were not prepared.”
The Master smiled, “did you save your fellow students?” He asked
“yes, they are ok.”
“Then, you were prepared.” The Master said. He sat down, and the students brought him hardtack and cheese. The Master carefully broke his meal in two and gave half to the dog. The dog stayed close to the Master for the rest of his life. His debt was saving the Master’s life.
This work is Copyright DocAndersen. Any resemblance to people real or fictional in this piece is accidental (unless explicitly mentioned by name.)