John McDonnell, 10, can't understand what all the excitement is about in Vienna.

" McDonnell, who is in fourth grade at Westbriar Elementary School, last week gave the Vienna Town Council a matter-of-fact version of how he saved the life of another boy:

"I went in and got him and pulled him out."

On April 3, McDonnell dove into the creek behind his Vienna home and rescued 7-year-old Mike Murray, who survived the near-drowning without injury.

"John was playing down by the creek with a friend and they saw the little boy in the water," said Lynne McDonnell, John's mother. "His head kept going up and down and he was struggling in the current. John went in after him and pulled him out. I didn't hear about it until after about a half-hour later, when the boy's mother called. John wasn't nervous or afraid--and he's not a terrific swimmer."

After John dried off, Mike's family gave him much praise and a $35 reward, and reported the rescue to town officials. The Vienna Town Council last week awarded John a letter of commendation citing his "act of high courage and tremendous sense of responsibility and sense of dedication to mankind."

"The mayor even gave him $20 and a pen with the Vienna seal on it," said Lynne McDonnell. "I guess John will go out and buy another tape cartridge. That's what he did with the other $35--after he bought some new tennis shoes."