The boy who saved the Netherlands
"On a beautiful day in the autumm, this boy (probable a boy named Peter, nowadays known as Hans Brinker, almost 8 years old) brought some cookies to a blind man who lived at the other side of the dike. He stayed a little while, and than the boy started to return to his own house.
When he was walking along the canal, he discovered that the autumn rain had raised the water in the canal. He thought his father could manage this slight problem. His father always spoke about the evil water. The boy could not imagine why. He whispered a song, watched the rabbits and took some flowers from the fields, for his mother.
Suddenly, the boy woke up from his reverie. He hadn't noticed that the sun had disappeared. It became very dark, and the boy had a long way to go! He walked faster, and thought about the many stories about children who were lost in the dark woods.
Then, the boy heard a strange sound. He heard water flowing away. Where does it came from? He looked and looked. Then, he saw a very small hole in the dike!
Every child in Holland knows what this means! It could be a damburst! The little boy knew that here was a great danger! That small hole in the dike could get bigger and bigger. He knew what to do. He threw his flowers away, climbed off the dike and put his finger in the hole.
No more water came through it. 'I will rescue Haarlem from the evil water,' the little boy said to himself.
Our little hero became colder and colder. 'Please, help me, some one, please,' he said.
But there was no one to help him. 'Mother, Father, please, help me."
It became night! The moon watched the little boy. The boy was scared, cold, lonely and very tired. We'll never know what this boy was going through. Many times he was thinking about his father, mother, his brothers and sisters. But he decided to hold on! The night disappeared, a new day came.
The next morning, a vicar was walking along the canal. He heard the crying of a small boy, looked and saw our little hero.
'What are you doing, boy?' asked the vicar.
'I am sitting here to stop the water that comes through a small hole,' the boy said. 'Please help me, I can't hold it any longer."
Of course the vicar helped him, and many other people also. Every one in Holland was very, very proud of this little boy!"
The pupils of De Meerbrug say:
"We don't know if this really happened. We do not think so.
But the story is world famous."