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The Little Dutch Boy

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The Little Dutch Boy Part II
Hans could see a hole in the dike.
Hans could see a hole in the dike.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Below is the second part of "The Little Dutch Boy."

Hans ran and ran, past the fields of tulips and past the windmills. His small wooden shoes clicked and clacked against the brick road and kept his feet warm and dry from the sloshy mud and puddles.

Hans was still running when he passed one of the many dikes. Something did not look right. Hans crept closer to the dike to see. There, in the middle of the high stone wall, in a crack between the stone blocks, was a small hole. From the hole seeped a small trickle of water.

While Hans knew that the dripping water looked harmless, he also knew that the water building up behind the great wall would push at the tiny hole until it became bigger and bigger. Soon it would let the water come rushing through, washing away the town.

Hans knew he had to do something. Thinking quickly, he stuck his fist into the hole, plugging it up.

While Hans stood at the leaking dike with his fist stuck in the hole, his hand the only thing keeping the water from washing away the town of Haarlem, his mother waited and worried.

Hans's mother did not know the trouble that her son had discovered. She did not know that he was stuck in the middle of the raging storm, soaked to the bone from the rain, and chilled through his wet clothes by the wild, whipping wind.

Hans's mother didn't know where Hans was.
Hans's mother didn't know where Hans was.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

"Hans!" she called from the door of their house. "Hans, where are you?"

If only her husband were home, she thought. He could venture into the storm and find their beloved son. But her husband was not home. There was no one to bravely find her poor, lost Hans. Little did she know that Hans was showing bravery of his own.

The rain kept pelting Hans, and the wind continued to swirl. But still the boy kept his hand plugged in the hole. He knew that in order to save his town, he could not let the water break through the dike.

But Hans had grown so cold. He shivered and shook. His hand had grown so tired and numb. He had to get home. But he couldn't leave the dike.

"Help!" Hans called out. "Someone help me! The dike is going to burst! Help!"

But the wind drowned out Hans's cries. He was sure nobody had heard him. There would be no help.

Mr. Jansen heard Hans calling for help.
Mr. Jansen heard Hans calling for help.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

Suddenly, standing before him was old Mr. Jansen.

"I heard you calling, Hans," the old man said. He picked up a stone, and with it plugged the hole.

"My lad," said Mr. Jansen, "let's get you home. And then I'll tell everyone of the boy who saved the town!"

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