[Original in German]

No One Needs to Sink

As a little boy, I had not yet learned to swim. My parents were building a house at the city's edge, and there was a pond about five hundred yards away. For a youngster from the city this was a paradise. The pond had many enticements. You could swim— if you knew how—and at the other end were mysterious bulrushes with croaking frogs. Along one side there was an embankment where you could turn splendid somersaults into the water or bake in the sun.

At home I did swimming exercises on a chair, but now, one hot summer day, I wanted to try swimming in the water.

My grandfather, who went with me (we were inseparable), made himself comfortable on the embankment. I, the adventurous not-yet-swimmer, was already up to my waist in the water. Now what should I do first? Dive forward, arms and hands outstretched? Or would I perhaps be more correct to plop into the water and push off with my feet, or even let fly with both arms and legs at once, like a frog?

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July 7, 1973

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