A raft of friends

BY DON BEHM

Once upon a time, I received a letter from a local lady. She wrote that a person needs a raft of friends to get through life. She looked forward to reading these stories every week. She has passed away and I’m sure she had a raft of friends in her life.

My dad grew up in the Mondale, Mondamin, Missouri Valley area. The Missouri River created many large lakes in that area. Dad owned a rowboat and one day, he took his mother and an aunt for a boat ride. The boat hit a snag and took on water. He was able to reach a muskrat den and they stood on the den. Muskrats came out of the den, but no one was bitten. They weren’t there very long when two boys came by riding on a raft. They wanted to know if they could help. They could take only one person at a time to shore. They got everyone safely to shore and would not take anything for helping. This was a real raft of friends. I don’t know what happened to the boat, but I do know dad never rode in one again.

Now, the rest of the story, about water, not boats. One day, my brother and I decided to go fishing in the Boyer River. The fish were not biting so we decided to go swimming.  We were under a bridge and the water in that spot was over our heads. A boy stopped to watch us swim. He was a year younger than me. He was sitting on the bridge and when he started to get up, he became dizzy and fell into the river. He could not swim. I was nearest him, so he grabbed hold of me. I managed to get him to shore where my brother could help me get him out of the water. He was a big kid and it was no easy task. He had swallowed some water, but was ok. This wrapped up our swim for that day but I made a good friend for life. A friend in need is a friend indeed.