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4

A new life on an island

 

When day came,the sea was quiet again. I looked for our ship and,to my surprise,it was still there and still in one piece. ‘I think I can swim to it,’I said to myself. So I walked down to the sea and before long,I was at the ship and was swimming round it. But how could I get on to it?In the end,I got in through a hole in the side,but it wasn't easy.

There was a lot of water in the ship,but the sand under the sea was still holding the ship in one place. The back of the ship was high out of the water,and I was very tnankful for this be-cause all the ship's food was there. I was very hungry so I be-gan to eat something at once. Then I decided to take some of it back to the shore with me. But how could I get it there?

I looked around the ship,and after a few minutes,I found some long pieces of wood. I tied them together with rope. Then I got the things that I wanted from the ship. There was a big box of food—rice,and salted meat,and hard ship's bread. I al-so took many strong knives and other tools,the ship's sails and ropes,paper,pens,books,and seven guns. Now I needed a little sail from the ship,and then I was ready. Slowly and carefully,I went back to the shore. It was difficult to stop my things from falling into the sea,but in the end I got everything on to the shore.

Now I needed somewhere to keep my things.

There were some hills around me,so I decided to build my-self a little house on one of them. I walked to the top of the highest hill and looked down,I was very unhappy,because I saw then that I was on an island. There were two smaller is-lands a few miles away,and after that,only the sea. Just the sea,for mile after mile after mile.

After a time,I found a little cave in the side of a hill. In front of it,there was a good place to make a home. So,I used the ship's sails,rope,and pieces of wood,and after a lot of hard work I had a very fine tent. The cave at the back of my tent was a good place to keep my food,and so I called it my ‘kitchen’. That night,I went to sleep in my new home.

The next day I thought about the possible dangers on the is-land. Were there wild animals,and perhaps wild people too,on my island?I didn't know,but I was very afraid. So I decided to build a very strong fence. I cut down young trees and put them in the ground,in a halfcircle around the front of my tent. I used many of the ship's ropes too,and in the end my fence was as strong as a stone wall. Nobody could get over it,through it,or round it.

Making tents and building fences is hard work. I needed many tools to help me. So I decided to go back to the ship again,and get some more things.

I went back twelve times,but soon after my twelfth visit there was another terrible storm. The next morning,when I looked out to sea,there was no ship.

When I saw that,I was very unhappy. ‘Why am I alive,and why are all my friends dead?’I asked myself. ‘What will hap-pen to me now,alone on this island without friends?How can I ever escape from it?’

Then I told myself that I was lucky—lucky to be alive,lucky to have food and tools,lucky to be young and strong. But I knew that my island was somewhere off the coast of South America. Ships did not often come down this coast,and I said to myself,‘I'm going to be on this island for a long time. ’So,on a long piece of wood,I cut these words:

 

I CAME HERE ON 30TH SEPTEMBER 1659

 

After that,I decided to make a cut for each day.

 


 

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