Once upon a time, there was a boy named Joe. Joe was very intelligent and brave boy. He was not afraid of anything under the sun, well, except for one thing, the swimming pool. He used to call it screaming pool. He was very scared of water.
He was scared of ocean, he was scared of water slides and water fountains, he was scared of big swimming pools, he was even scared of a small kiddie pool. He used to think he has “Water-O-Phobia” (Aqua-phobia is the word, silly…:))
One day, his close friend Mark invited him for a pool party. Mark was his best of best friends. Joe could not refuse him. So, dressed in his swimming costume, against all his will, he reached the party place. Mark greeted him with a tight hug. He was so happy to see his buddy. He invited him to join other kids in the pool. But the moment Joe looked at the swimming pool, he felt as though the pool is screaming at him. He looked away.
“What’s the matter buddy?”, inquired Mark.
“Nothing, I’m just not in a mood to swim today”, exclaimed Joe and looked away.
“Come on, it’s my birthday today. Let’s have a swimming competition. I will beat you in no time”, insisted Mark.
Joe looked at the swimming pool from the corner of his eyes and felt the swimming pool is screaming at him even louder, “La la ala la la la ala la la la….”.
“Sorry buddy, I will see you tomorrow. Happy Birthday”, Joe uttered in one breath and sprinted away in opposite direction as fast as he could.
Baffled, puzzled Mark returned to the pool to join his other friends.
Next day during recess at school, Mark asked Joe, “What’s wrong buddy? Why did you run away from the party yesterday?”
Joe : “Um, no, um, nothing, um I don’t know, um, may be I had some work, um, um, um….”
Mark : “What is going on? Are you hiding something from me?”
Joe : “Noooo, why should I?”
Mark : “Tell me the truth buddy. I might be able to help you.”
Joe : “Promise me you won’t laugh and promise me that you will not share this secret with anybody?”
Mark : “Pinky Promise”.
Joe : “Well, ya, you guessed it right. I am really scared of water. Whenever I look at it, it feels like the swimming pool is screaming at me with it’s arms stretched towards me. I just can’t get over it.”
Mark : “This is very serious buddy. Let’s go to a swimming instructor and learn water safety rules. My dad knows an excellent swimming instructor named Ms Olivia. We will go to her over the weekend with my dad”.
Next Saturday, after breakfast Mark’s dad took the boys to Ms. Olivia.
Ms Olivia : “Welcome boys. What brings you here?”
Mark explained the whole situation to Ms Olivia. Ms Olivia looked at Joe and said, “Oh is that it? I promise you with proper guidance and a little practice, you will enjoy swimming pool like never before. I promise to turn your screaming pool into a singing pool in no time.”
Hearing this, Joe was skeptical but hopeful.
Ms. Olivia continued, “before we go into the pool and learn how to swim, let’s go over the water safety rules”.
- Always swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards or an adult with good swimming skills.
- Wear a coast guard approved life jacket if you can’t swim.
- Always obey the swimming pool rules. Walk slowly near the pool.
- Enroll in age-appropriate water orientation and learn to swim lessons.
- If in trouble in the water, try to relax, roll on your back, hold onto something if available, and wave one arm to attract attention.
- Don’t enter a swimming pool without adult supervision.
- Don’t drink water from pools, lakes or rivers.
- Don’t go for swimming when you have diarrhea.
- Don’t run or jump around near the pool.
- Don’t push or play rough with anyone near the pool.
- If someone needs help, don’t get in the pool. Lie down and try to reach with an object or a floating device.
Then slowly with the help of Ms Olivia, Joe stepped down into the shallow end of the pool. He thought to himself, huh, it’s not that bad. They spend rest of the time getting comfortable in the water.
Joe returned home with the hope that he will be able to swim like a fish one day.
Then week after week, he took some swim lessons and bit by bit he overcame all his fears. Finally he started enjoying all sorts of water sports.
Joe also wrote a poem on water safety rules :
When you are near the pool, Must obey the safety rule, No Pushing, no jumping, not even running, Only slowly slowly walking, If in trouble in water, don't panic, Else you will sink like titanic, Relax, roll on your back, wave for help, Or, propel slowly to the side by yourself.
Finally the Screaming pool turned into a Singing pool for him!!!
Learning : With proper guidance and persistence, you can overcome any fear. So don’t hesitate to ask for help.
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