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"Guess?" he said. "You've got some in your pocket."

"Old cork floor tiles tied together and stitched into a package!"

"Right. The two big ones are lashed in. They should be enough to keep us afloat. The two small ones are for emergencies. Grip on and swim with your legs. It works." he added. "I've done it!"

'I bet you have,' she thought to herself, but she didn't say anything.

"There's an old saucepan under one of them for bailing out," he told her.

"If we start filling up, I paddle and you bail."

"You've tried it," she said.

"Oh yes. Often."

She laughed.

“Come on then.”  

Chapter 6……………. Still going on.

They rolled the canoe out and over the old road to the edge of the water. There was some ancient metal fencing nearby which Kirk used to loop a rope round from the canoe and back. He helped her in, pushed off, clambered in himself and let the end of the rope go, holding his breath and hoping that it wouldn't snag. He and Michael didn't usually bother with this. The rope snaked out after them and he breathed a sigh of relief, pulled it in and took his own paddle, digging deep into the small waves. Maria followed his stroke and they edged their way out into the current, taking a diagonal course across the river.

Maria fervently wished she had some jacket buoyancy on her. Canoes and buoyancy, real life jacket type buoyancy, automatically went together in her mind. She knew she was one of the best swimmers in the school, but she felt silly and very vulnerable. She hoped that her mum and her friends didn't find out that she'd done this.

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Text and cover Everyone Can be a herO                     © J.R.Birch 2007