Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sam and the Shipping Container

Sam lives in Emerald, a growing town in the middle of Queensland. One of his favourite places is the top of the old reddish-brown shipping or cargo container which sits in his backyard.

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Sam likes climbing up there, sitting quietly and watching the clouds float across the sky or hearing the cockatoos fly screeching home to their nearby roosting tree.

One afternoon after school, Sam had climbed up on top of the cargo container again and was listening to two girls talking in one of his neighbouring yards.

"Hey yah, what're ya doing on the weekend?"

"Dad said we can take the jet skis out to Fairburn Dam. Want to come?"

"Oh cool, I'll come," said Sam.

"Go away Sam. Stop listening to us. Anyway you can't come because you haven't got a jet ski - ha!"

"I don't care," said Sam but he did. He jumped off the shipping container and kicked his football as hard as he could. It slammed into the rubbish bin near the fence and knocked it over.

Sam stomped into the house slamming the screen door as he went. He sprawled onto the lounge chair and turned on the TV.

"What's wrong Sam?" said his Mum.


Sam's Mum came into the lounge room and gave him a hug.

"You know Sam, sometimes you have to wait a little bit to get what you want."

"What do you mean Mum?"

"Well inside that shipping container you like to climb on is ...."

"What Mum?"

"... a jet ski."

"Ohh. Sick! Can we go out to Fairburn Dam on the weekend?"

"Nope. Sorry. You'll have to wait a bit longer because we're still saving up for the trailer."

"Ohhh, Mum."

"Don't worry Sam, we'll soon have enough money to buy the trailer and we'll be able to go jet skiing out at the dam."

But Sam couldn't wait and as he watched TV he hatched a plan. That night when everyone was asleep, he snuck down the hall, carefully lifted the keys off the hook in the hall and silently walked outside to the shipping container. He tried the keys in the padlock until one turned and the hasp clicked open. Sam carefully swung the container door open, hoping it wouldn't squeak too much.

He flashed his torch inside and there amongst the cardboard removalist boxes was a large wooden crate and on the side was the stencilled outline of a jet ski - "Yes!"

Sam stayed up the whole night dismantling the crate. The jet ski looked wonderful but Sam had a problem. How was he going to get it to the dam? It took Sam quite a while to think of a solution. He had to climb up on the roof of the cargo container and jump off three times before he remembered that his friend Joel liked go-carting. He ran as fast as he could over to Joel's place and knocked on his window, "Joel. Joel. I want to borrow your go-kart."

"Huhhhhh, what?" yawned Joel?

"Wake up Joel. I want to borrow your go-kart."

"What will you give me to play with. Have you got an x-box?"

"What about my new laptop. It's got some great games and I've got three DVDs you can watch."

"Cool. Here's my helmet. Be careful."

"Don't worry. I will. Thanks."

Sam pushed Joel's go-kart at least two blocks away before he started it. 'Raaaa, raaaa, raaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.' Off he went driving down the back streets towards his house. He turned the ignition off before he got near the house and coasted in silence down the driveway and stopped near the shipping container.

"Sick. All I need now is a trailer. What can I use?"

Sam used the side of the wooden crate and to the bottom he screwed his skateboard on one end and two of his sister's roller blades on the other end. Then he tied the jet ski to his trailer with five ockey straps and tied the trailer to the go-kart. He put on the helmet, started up the go-kart and roared down the driveway and out of the street before his parents woke up.

"Yahoooooo! We're off to ski at Fairburn. Yes!"

Soon Sam ran out of back streets and had to drive on the main road towards the Dam, going as fast as he could. He felt great as the farms sped by and he got closer and closer. Well he felt great until he heard the sound of a police siren behind him. Sure enough there was a police car driving along beside him. The red and blue lights were flashing and an angry looking police man was telling him to stop and pull over.

Sam knew he had to pull over. The police man hopped out of his car and "Right young Sam. You're in trouble."

"Trouble? Why? I was just going jet skiing out to Fairburn Dam. Everyone goes out there."

"Yes Sam but not everyone tries to do it with an unregistered go-kart and an illegal trailer. You'll have to leave it here and come back to your parents with me."


"Don't Ohhhh me Sam. Get into the police car you little squirt!"

Before Sam could unbuckle his seat belt he heard, "Base to highway patrol one, Base to highway patrol one, there's an emergency at Fairburn Dam. Two jet skis have collided in the middle of dam. Attend immediately to help in rescue!"

"Rescue!" said the policeman, "I can't swim!"

"I can," said Sam, "I got my bronze certificate in lifesaving last year. I'll help."

He started up the go-kart, "Ra, ra, raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!" and went speeding as fast as he could along the road to Fairburn Dam.

Fairburn Dam

When he got there, sure enough, he could see the two jet skis out in the middle of the dam and holding on for dear life were the two girls.

Sam went speeding through the car park and down the boat ramp. He hit the brakes and spun the steering wheel as fast as he could. The trailer spun around and the jet ski slipped off from under the ockie straps and into the water with a splash. Sam jumped off the go-kart and onto the seat of the jet ski. "Reeeeeeee, reeeeee, reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh!" He was off speeding across the dam towards the crash scene.

"This is fun. Yehhhh!"

Sam steered the jet ski around the two girls and helped them both onto the back of the ski. Slowly this time, he headed towards the shore.

As he got back, people were cheering, "Yey Sam. Good one!"

Waiting for him beside the police car were his parents. "Good one Sam. We're proud of you. Your our hero but .........

............ you're grounded for 3 months."

Sam spent a lot of time on top of that shipping container for the next 3 months but at least the girls he rescued spoke to him sometimes.

('Sam and the Shipping Container' was created by Daryll Bellingham and the Year 4 and 5 students at Emerald State School on 13th August, 2008 ©)(Photos with thanks from and flickr download photographer - QbiT)

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