It was during the last week of January when Mahmood and his friends
went out camping in the mountains by a lake. As it was Allah's will, it happened that the
friends arrived on an island at the very center of a frozen lake because the car broke
down and they could do nothing but stay on the island. A few days later, the lake showed
signs of thawing and the friends hurried across the lake, taking whatever they could with
them. Unfortunately, during the same time period, Mahmood was gone to explore and was
far away from them at the time they escaped across the island. When Mahmood came back, he
saw most of the stuff gone and no one around. Most of the lake had now melted and Mahmood
The island, as Mahmood estimated was about 2 miles long and 1 mile
wide. It was full of greenery and had much of the liking of a forest. Mahmood was able to
identify many of the plants because of his previous camping experiences. The lake on the
other hand, was too cold and wide to cross by swimming. Many attempts to swim across it
failed and so Mahmood had to accept the idea that he would have to wait until somebody
rescued him or until the lake got a little bit warmer. He knew he was marooned and alone
on the island.
As the days passed, Mahmood kept on remembering his parents, brothers,
and sisters. He slept on his sleeping bag that he had brought with him for camping. He
lived on many fruits he recognized as safe ones. One day, as Mahmood had feared, a great
python appeared. "This is not going to be any regular fight," Mahmood thought to
himself. The python, even though this one was extraordinarily deadly and the center of
terror among the animal inhabitants of the island, retreated back a little. Never had it
seen a thing so big. It was afraid. Mahmood had gathered many rocks and now hurled them
with all his might on the python. The python couldn't dodge these missiles and one by one
the rocks began tearing up its body. The snake, nevertheless, tried to make its way
forward but only found that to make its end come sooner. Mahmood hurled the last, heavy
rock on the snake, splitting the snake's head into two and breaking up into tiny pieces on
the rocks below the python's head. The python was dead.
Mahmood had a few more skirmishes of the like with a few more animals
and began feeling more confident about living alone with the animals of prey all around
him. He was now learning the true meaning of courage.
Summer was coming up fast. Mahmood had hoped that someone might come
boating on the lake and rescue him. Mahmood's hope was fulfilled later than he had
expected. He waited past June, July, and then even August. Maybe this is not a public
lake, he figured out. Finally on the third week of September, a few boaters appeared.
Mahmood waved to them. They came to the island and picked him up. He was free at last! He
had stayed on the island for 7 months. Mahmood stayed with the boaters on their vacation.
When the boaters decided to go home, they dropped Mahmood off because he lived close to
where they lived.
As Mahmood walked up to the door of his house, he wondered what his
family would say to him. His parents were the first to meet him. His mother couldn't
believe her eyes and asked him, "Where were you?" And his father asked,
"What had happened?" Mahmood told his family what had happened. They couldn't
believe how he had killed the snake. They were very proud of him. As for Mahmood, he
became more courageous from that day onward. He also learned how to handle the situation
when he was alone. It was the best adventure of his life.