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Sam Westphal

English 8


Mr. Pariano


A Taste of the Outdoors

The last thing Tyler Russell wanted to do, was spend 2 whole weeks with his family in Africa. Unfortunately, he had no choice. Before he knew it, he was sitting on an African Safari boat going down the Congo River.

Tyler is a 15 year old boy who wants nothing to do with his parents. Tyler’s hobbies included gaming, and occasionally sports when his parents force him to. He is a very skinny pale kid with messy brown hair because he never wants to comb it. Tyler talked his parents into taking online school, so that he wouldn’t have to leave his room during the day.

“Ugh, when does this stupid boat ride end?” Tyler asked his mom, while sitting in the corner of the boat frowning.

“Cheer up sweetie! It will be a while. You might as well try to have some fun,” She replied.

Tyler sighed and walked over to the side of the boat. He looked straight down into the muddy water, imagining how great it would be if he was home in his room.

Suddenly he heard the gate he was leaning on made a high pitch screeching sound. The gate unlatched and Tyler fell face first into the brown water of the Congo River. The current quickly swept him down the river, as he watched the boat get farther and farther away.

“ Help him! That’s my son! My son fell off the boat!” Yelled Tyler’s mom. The boat driver ran to the side of the boat and stuck out his long paddle out for Tyler to grab on to. Unfortunately, it was too far away for Tyler to grab. He was viciously tossed around in the raging current. Suddenly, he hit a rock that was in the middle of the river. He saw stars for a second, and then all blackness


“Huh? Where am I?” Tyler said out loud. It was a dumb thing to say, because there was not a person in sight. Tyler looked around, and saw nothing but tall jungle trees, in which he had never seen in his life. He wondered how he went from being swept down the river, to being on land. His whole body was soaking wet from the river. It was also pouring down rain. In fact, it was pouring so hard that Tyler almost had to put his hands on his ears to muffle the loud sound.

Tyler had no idea what he was going to do. He had no real experience with any real wildlife. The closest he had become to being in the wild was his “Dinosaur Hunter Pro” game for his iPhone. He figured he would have to make it back to his parents soon, or he would die of natural causes.

“I’m never going to Africa again in my life,” Tyler muttered as he kicked a tree in frustration.

Tyler finally got himself together and thought up a plan. He decided to follow the river in the way the boat he was on was headed. He hoped to eventually find the destination of the safari boat. He figured his parents would be waiting for him there.

About 20 minutes into his walk up the Congo River, he felt something soft hit the top of his head. He got worried, so he looked straight up and SPLAT a banana hit him right in the face. He wiped it off and saw an elfish looking monkey looking straight down on him. It was the closest he had ever seen to an animal laughing. Tyler, feeling embarrassed, picked up the mushy banana and threw it back at the monkey. It missed by a mile.

“Think you’re clever do you?” Tyler said glaring at the monkey.

The monkey continued to laugh at him, knowing he was safe up in his tree, where Tyler couldn’t get to him. Tyler, on the other hand, would not give up on trying to get to the monkey. As he was picking up a rock, he heard a loud rustling of  leaves. He looked over, and saw a patch of golden fur.

Out of the leaves came a large African lion. Tyler could barely breath he was so shocked and scared. He slowly backed away. He knew a fair amount about how to avoid being attacked by lions. He had read an article about it online. He knew that you had to make yourself look big, so that the lion would get scared and run away. The lion did not seem scared at all. It just continued to slowly walk towards Tyler with nothing but darkness in it’s eyes. Tyler was beginning to panic.

“Shoo! Go away!” he said shakily. Just when the lion was a yard away from Tyler, a banana dropped on it’s head, and it took off running away from Tyler. He was so relieved. He smiled at the monkey and thanked him for saving his life. The monkey just looked at him and kept laughing. Tyler didn’t know what to make of the monkey, so he just continued to walk up the Congo river. He figured it was around 3 o’clock. Or at least it felt that way. He really had no way of knowing the exact time. He was getting very hungry, and he wanted to get back before it was night.

Tyler was thinking about how great it would be if he was safe indoors. He also swore to himself he would never be in such a bad mood again. If he was never in a bad mood, he wouldn’t have gotten himself into this horrible mess. Tyler then realized he hadn’t drunk anything the whole day. He knew the river water was going to be extremely dirty, but he would have to drink it in order to stay alive. He got on his stomach, and cupped his hands together. The water was a dirty brown color, and it smelled terrible. Tyler closed his eyes, and hesitantly drank the water. It was not as bad as he expected. Probably just because of his extreme thirst. He kept drinking the water until his body could take no more. He wished he could have something good to eat also. He smiled as he thought to himself how great it would be if jungles had hamburger trees instead of banana trees. It was the first time he had smiled in quite a long time.

Welp, off I go again, Tyler thought as he got up off his stomach. He was beginning to think with a sense of urgency. He was going to need to make it back soon, or not make it back at all. His clothes were caked in mud and grass, but he didn’t even care at that point. The only thing on his mind was making it back to safety.

He walked over a hill, and saw a medium sized wooden building in the distance. He ran as fast as he could down the steep hill. He tripped over a large patch of dirt and rolled painfully down the rest of the hill. He got up, and noticed he had some cuts on him but he did not care. He continued to run the the house. He was running so fast that when he finally got to the building, he had to put his hands out to stop him from colliding face first. He figured this is where his parents would be. He opened the door, and looked around. He could see no one.

“Sweetie is that you?”  said Tyler’s mom opening the door. It was the only time Tyler was ever happy to see his mom.

“Mom!” Tyler ran over to his mom and gave her a hug. “I will never be so rude again!” He promised her.


They decided to leave Africa after this incident. They couldn’t afford having it happen again.


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