CBSE Class 12 English - Deep Water 

Introduction:  The story talks about how, as a young boy William Douglas nearly drowned in a swimming pool and about his fear of water and thereafter, how he finally overcame it.


  • Douglas
  • Yakima
  • Y.M.C.A pool


In the following story, the writer tells us how he overcame his fear of water and learned swimming with sheer determination and will power. He had developed a terror of water since childhood when he was four and had gone to a beach in California with his father the waves knocked him down and he was swept over with them. The author was completely terrified as a child and this experience bred a permanent fear of water in the author’s subconscious mind.

The author decided to learn swimming in Y.M.C.A pool in Yakima when one day suddenly a big boy played a prank on him and pushed him into the deep end of the pool. Douglas was completely horrified and went a foot into the water and tried his best to move upwards but all his efforts were going in vain. He tried to shout but no sound came out. He went down again and his lungs ached, head throbbed and he grew dizzy. He felt paralyzed with fear. His efforts and fears ceased and he was moving towards the peaceful death.

The writer was in peace and when he gained consciousness, he found himself lying on the side of the pool with the other boys nearby. The terror he experienced never left him and haunted him for many years spoiling his expeditions of canoeing, swimming, and fishing. But determined to conquer his fear he learned swimming and he finally gained the courage to face challenges and swim even in the warm lake.