A number of students were in the small field beside the school. We were there that afternoon because we were told by our teachers to do so. It was supposed to be a selection for students to take part in the coming school sports. I was one of the hopefuls.
We were each given our chances at the various events. We went through the 100 and 400-meter sprints, the long jump, high jump; throwing the javelin and the discus. I did fairly well in the long jump and was selected to represent my house. Others were selected for their various abilities. After the selection, a few of us stayed back to practice the events that we were to participate in. The teachers adjourned to the tuckshop to have a drink It was during this time that an accident happened.
Ah, Wang was a tough thickset boy who loved using his considerable muscles. Naturally, he gravitated to the throwing events. I saw him throwing the javelin on the far side of the field Presently another boy, Patma, joined him. For a while I saw them throwing and retrieving the single javelin they had. Later on, I did not pay them much notice as l was too engrossed in my own long jump practice.
After a while, I heard shouts of glee coming from their direction. I looked towards them and to my horror, saw them throwing the javelin at each other. I guessed it saved them the chore of having to retrieve the javelin after each throw, but what they were doing was definitely dangerous.
I shouted at them to stop fooling around like that. They shouted back saying that they know what they were doing and I should mind my own business. So had to leave them to their dangerous game.
It was scary watching them. The thrown javelin sailed through the air towards a waiting boy who would avoid it by judging the path of its flight. A couple of times I was sure that the javelin would strike flesh but it missed by inches.
Just as I was beginning to think that they might be able to handle the situation, disaster struck. Patma threw the javelin and it arched towards Ah Weng. This time Ah Weng had difficulty judging the flight path. He was not sure which way to go. Before I could say anything the javelin came down hard on his thigh with a sickening thud. Instantly a spray of red bloodshot from the stricken thigh. Ah, Weng gave a howl of pain and fell on his back, hands clutching desperately at the embedded javelin.
Some friends and I rushed to help him. Quickly we pulled out the javelin for it was threatening to gouge out his flesh. Fortunately, the javelin was not sharp. Otherwise, it might have gone right through the leg. There was blood everywhere and everyone was not sure what to do.
I shouted for someone to get a teacher while we tried to stop the bleeding and reassure Ah Weng that he would be all right. His face was a deathly pale and we were all so afraid that he might die.
Soon Mr. Ranjit came running. He quickly ordered us to carry Ah Weng into his car. Once inside, Mr Ranjit sped off to the hospital.
Well, Ah Weng did survive. He and Patma were banned indefinitely from touching a javelin even again. We continued our sports practice but no one else dared to fool around with a javelin again. We had learned our lesson. After the incident, I noticed that there was always a teacher around, even when the rest were at the tuckshop. I suppose they learned their lessons as well.
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