Learning to live alone
I still needed a lot of things. ‘Well，’I said，‘I'm going to have to make them. ’So，every day，I worked.
First of all，I wanted to make my cave bigger. I carried out stone from the cave，and after many days' hard work I had a large cave in the side of the hill. Then I needed a table and a chair，and that was my next job. I had to work on them for a long time. I also wanted to make places to put all my food，and all my tools and guns. But every time I wanted a piece of wood，I had to cut down a tree. It was long，slow，difficult work，and during the next months I learnt to be very clever with my tools. There was no hurry. I had all the time in the world.
I also went out every day，and I always had my gun with me. Sometimes I killed a wild animal，and then I had meat to eat.
But when it got dark，I had to go to bed because I had no light. I couldn't read or write because I couldn't see. For a long time，I didn't know what to do. But in the end，I learnt how to use the fat of dead animals to make a light.
The weather on my island was usually very hot，and there were often storms and heavy rain. The next June，it rained all the time，and I couldn't go out very often. I was also ill for some weeks，but slowly，I got better. When I was stronger，I began to go out again. The first time I killed a wild animal，and the second time I caught a big turtle.
I was on the island for ten months before I visited other parts of it. During those months I worked hard on my cave and my house and my fence. Now I was ready to find out more about the rest of the island.
First，I walked along the side of a little river. There，I found open ground without trees. Later，I came to more trees with many different fruits. I decided to take a lot of the fruit，and to put it to dry in the sun for a time. Then I could keep it for many months.
That night I went to sleep in a tree for the second time，and the next day I went on with my journey. Soon I came to an opening in the hills. In front of me，everything was green，and there were flowers everywhere. There were also a lot of differ-ent birds and animals. I saw that my house was on the worst side of the island. But I didn't want to move from there. It was my home now. I stayed away for three days，and then I came home. But I often went back to the other，greener side of the island.
And so my life went on. Every month I learnt to do or to make something new. But I had troubles and accidents too. Once there was a terrible storm with very heavy rain. The roof of my cave fell in，and nearly killed me！I had to build it up again with many pieces of wood.
I had a lot of food now. I cooked it over a fire or dried it in the sun. So I always had meat during the rainy months when I could not go out with a gun. I learnt to make pots to keep my food in. But I wanted very much to make a harder，stronger pot—a pot that would not break in a fire. I tried many times，but I could not do it. Then one day I was lucky. I made some new pots and put them in a very hot fire. They changed colour，but did not break. I left them there for many hours，and when they were cold again，I found that they were hard and strong. That night I was very happy. I had hot water for the first time on the island.
By then，I also had my own bread. That was luck，too. One day I found a little bag. We used it on the ship，to keep the chickens' food in. There was still some of the food in the bag，and I dropped some of it onto the ground. A month later I saw something bright green there，and after six months I had a very small field of corn. I was very excited. Perhaps now I could make my own bread！
It was easy to say，but not so easy to do. It is a lot of work to make bread from corn. Many people eat bread，but how many people can take corn from a field and make bread out of it without help？I had to learn and to make many new things，and it was a year before I cooked and ate my first bread.
During all this time I never stopped thinking about escape. When I travelled across to the other side of the island，I could see the other islands，and I said to myself，‘Perhaps I can get there with a boat. Perhaps I can get back to England one day. ’
So I decided to make myself a boat. I cut down a big tree，and then began to make a long hole in it. It was hard work，but about six months later，I had a very fine canoe. Next，I had to get it down to the sea. How stupid I was！Why didn't I think before I began work？Of course，the canoe was too heavy. I couldn't move it！I pulled and pushed and tried everything，but it didn't move. I was very unhappy for a long time after that.
That happened in my fourth year on the island. In my sixth year I did make myself a smaller canoe，but I did not try to es-cape in it. The boat was too small for a long journey，and I did not want to die at sea. The island was my home now，not my prison，and I was just happy to be alive. A year or two later，I made myself a second canoe on the other side of the island. I also built myself a second house there，and so I had two homes.
My life was still busy from morning to night. There were al-ways things to do or to make. I learnt to make new clothes for myself from the skins of dead animals. They looked very strange，it is true，but they kept me dry in the rain.
I kept food and tools at both my houses，and also wild goats. There were many goats on the island，and I made fields with high fences to keep them in. They learnt to take food from me，and soon I had goat's milk to drink every day. I also worked hard in my cornfields. And so many years went by.