All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. With this saying in mind our class went on a picnic one sunny day.

As we were crossing the harbor, a panorama presented itself before our eyes. The eastern sky was painted red while golden sunbeams gloriously pierced through the morning fog and lighted up the whole world. Acrobatic seagulls were giving a fascinating performance of fancy somersaults over the glistering, watery carpet. Houses on either side of the harbor were still half asleep amid the morning mist.

When the ferry was at last tied beside Kowloon pier, we disembarked and assembled on the bus which would take us to our destination——Castle Peak, a lofty mountain situated on the south-western end of the Kowloon Peninsula. After staying in the concourse for about five minutes it finally shook itself off the queue and began its long journey.

Our bus was a mad symphony of engine, horn, laughter, off tune singing and shouting. This went on for half an hour. After that our spirits subsided to a calmer journey. Only then did we notice we were on the outskirts of town. Buildings became fewer and fewer as our bus seemed to drive faster and faster. In place of busy streets and crowded houses were fields and hills, and huts dotted here and there along the country-side. All these seemed to be traveling too as our bus drove past. Now and again we saw a worn-out sampan playing hide-and-seek with the fishes. Bathing-sheds half-hidden alongside the road were now a familiar sight.

No sooner had our destination come into sight than the girls went wild with delight and cried “Hurrah!” At last the driver put on the brake and the exhausted engine came to a standstill. Having alighted we were divided into four groups, ten in each, and patiently awaited the teacher’s “Forward march!” if you have seen a screen comedy about army recruits, you don’t need much imagination to picture what the 40 of us looked like at the bus terminus.

Half an hour later found some of us racing in the fields while others tried catching fish in the stream with their bare hands. As our group was particularly fond of hiking, we decided to challenge Castle Peak. We were almost half-way up when the slope suddenly turned sharp and barren. We stopped for breath, but there was neither a branch to shade us nor a rock to ease our feet. We tramped steadily. Luckily the climb was easier than we had anticipated. Once we were on the summit the atmosphere changed. Here peace and tranquility reigned. No more noises from vehicles or trains. The trees were whistling low and the grass nodding its welcome for us.

It was then 11.00 a.m. and the cries of our empty stomachs brought us into action. Some went gathering dried-up branches for the stove while others fetched fresh water from a nearby stream. Thus we prepared our mid-day meal-but you can be sure we were not prepared for the sandy seasoning we got in our cooking.

With pots and pans aside we could at last enjoy the sight of delicate butterflies fluttering gaily among blooms and bushes, and white clouds sailing unhurriedly. About 100 yards downhill, there was a spring let foaming and dashing, leaping and rushing over rocks and pebbles. Are these not the manifestation of God’s power? They are the miracles which we often insist as non-existent.

As everything must have its beginning so also has it its end. Soon the day turned to sunset and we must pack up for the return journey. Though reluctant and sad were our hearts, the thought that should another occasion arise we would surely revisit it was a great consolation.