A little learning is a dangerous thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring. — Alexander Pope

Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin




I Am Alarmed by a Voice

As soon as I touched the land, I fell upon my knees and gave God thanks for bringing me safe out of so great danger.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

I made the canoe fast to a rock by the shore, and lay down on the grass.

I was so tired that I soon fell asleep and did not waken once until the next morning.

I went up a little hill close by the shore, and looked around to see what part of the island I was in.

To my right I saw some well-known trees which I had visited when I was exploring the island. Then I knew that I was only a little way from my summer house and that I could reach it easily by walking.

I was sick of the sea, and I thought that nothing would be so pleasant as a few days in my quiet bower.

So, with my umbrella over my head, I started across the country. It was a hot day, and I walked slowly.

I stopped often to rest, and did not reach my summer house until it was growing dark.

I saw that everything was standing just as I had left it; for I always kept it in good order.

As soon as I got over the fence, I sat down to rest; and I was so tired that I fell asleep.

Then, all at once in the darkness, I heard a voice calling me, "Robin, Robin, Robin Crusoe!"

I was so full of sleep that I did not wake up at once. But between sleeping and waking I could hear somebody saying, "Robin Crusoe, Robin Crusoe!"

I wondered who it could be, but I was still more than half asleep.

Then the voice screamed in my ear, "ROBIN CRUSOE!"

I sprang to my feet. I was frightened almost out of my wits. Who in the world could be speaking my name in that place?

No sooner were my eyes well open than I saw in the dim light of the moon my Poll Parrot sitting on a post quite close to my shoulder.

"Poor Robin Crusoe," he said. "Poor Robin Crusoe."

He was looking down at me as though in pity.

He was but repeating the words I had taught him. I knew that he was glad to see me, as I also was glad to see him.

I let him sit on my thumb as he often did at home. He rubbed his bill on my face and kept saying: "Poor Robin Crusoe! Where are you? Where have you been?" and other words that he knew.

I wondered how the bird had come to this place, for I had left him at the castle. I asked him; "Why are you here, Poll?"

But he answered me only by saying: "Poor Robin Crusoe! Where have you been?"

I surely believe that the bird loved me.

In the morning I carried him with me back to my castle.

As for the canoe, I would gladly have brought it back to its place in the little river. But I was afraid of being caught again in the furious currents; and so I left it in the safe cove on the other side of the island.