Check out the May winning entries in the grade 9-12 level.
Lost in the Desert
It was the middle of summer in the Arabian Desert and I was lost in a sea of sand. My two canteens were already empty and my last canteen was nearly half gone, but I hadn't found an oasis in over a day. The camel that I rode when I was with my caravan was still with me. I rode on the camel's back toward the town I had originally set out from, which was due north. The days were horrible by noon with the hot sun burning my back. Otherwise, I laid in the shade that was cast by the dunes which surrounded me for the rest of the day, and traveled by night.
We traveled for day and a half until we saw an oasis. When we arrived there, the camel and I drank the cool water. It was a relief on our dry throats. We stayed there for the rest of the night. We left the oasis with my canteens filled.
But several days we hadn't found another oasis or town, and I was almost out of water again. As I thought on what to do, I remembered reading a book about a person that was in a similar situation as me. The book, The Black Stallion Returns, taught me how to regurgitate water from a camel's system. I didn't want to do that because it would be cruel to the camel. I thought to myself, once my canteen is empty, only then would I force the water in the system.
Three days passed since I had left the oasis and my water supply was long gone. The camel would have to give up its water. I extracted the water and was able to fill up one and one-half of my canteens. Most o fit was wasted because it was hard trying to catch the water. After I killed the camel so it didn't suffer, I continued my journey for one more day. I finally reached the town I was headed for, burnt and weak. I went into the hospital, and the nurses hydrated me. It took me a while for my skin to heal but I was thankful to the camel that had kept me alive.