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1 It was a summer day. I was sixteen. My friend Steve and I were taking a new shortcut (the shortcut was through the woods). Steve and I wanted to visit another friend (the friend lived in the country).

The goal of this exercise is to combine all these sentences in each number into one sentence. Therefore, this one would read:

One summer day when I was 16, my friend Steve and I wanted to visit a friend who lived in the country, so we decided to take a shortcut through the woods.

  1. His house was about five miles away (if you took the road). We figured we could take a shortcut (the shortcut would cut the distance to only three miles).
  2. We hiked about halfway the distance. We came to a creek.
  3. We studied it for a moment. We thought what to do.
  4. The creek was about 15 feet wide (that was our guess). It was 6 or 8 feet deep (that was our guess). We could swim across the creek. Or, we could walk miles out of our way (if we tried to find a bridge).
  5. Steve was a devil-may-care type. He quickly took off his boots and trousers. He tied them all together. He threw them across the creek. He plunged in without further ado[1]. He soon swam to the other side. He was dripping wet (of course). He was needling me (I was still on the wrong side of the creek).
  6. I was not a good swimmer. I hesitated. (I wondered) How deep was the water? Could I dog-paddle across without sinking?
  7. I delayed. Steve taunted me energetically (he said I was “chicken”).
  8. I gathered my nerve. I took a deep breath. I jumped into the creek (I was fully dressed).
  9. The result was predictable. My boots instantly became waterlogged. They dragged me down beneath the surface. I could barely move my legs. I began floundering helplessly. I got panicky rapidly.
  10. I was fortunate. Steve quickly understood the situation.
  11. I flailed about in the water. He leapt back into the creek. He dragged me out safely on the other side.
  12. That day was so many years ago (I almost drowned then). I still have a healthy fear of any body of water (if it is more than 3 feet deep)


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