Nothing is harder to direct than a man in prosperity; nothing more easily managed than one is adversity. — Plutarch

Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin




I Find a Strange Lodging Place

It was now late in the afternoon. The sun was shining in the bright sky. The storm was at an end.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

I began to look around me, to see what kind of place I was in. "Where shall I go?" I asked myself. "What shall I do?"

My clothes were still wet. I could dry them only by sitting in the sun.

I had nothing to eat or drink.

I had nothing about me but a knife, a pipe, and a little tobacco.

How could I live on this strange shore without shelter and without food?

The thought of this made me almost wild. I ran this way and that, like a madman.

Then I sat down and cried like a child.

I never felt so lonely as at that moment. I never felt so helpless and lost.

Soon I saw that night was coming on.

I thought: "What if there are wild beasts in the woods? They will come out in the darkness and find me here. And then how can I save myself from them?"

A little way from the shore I saw a tree. It stood all alone, with no other trees near it.

It was thick and bushy, with long thorns on its branches.

I walked out to look at it.

To my great joy I found a spring of fresh water bubbling out from among its roots.

I knelt down and took a long drink, for I was very thirsty. Then I climbed up into the tree.

The branches grew very close together. I found a place where I could rest, half sitting and half lying, with no danger of falling.

With my pocket knife I cut a strong stick about two feet long. This would be my weapon if any beast should find me in the night.

It was now quite dark. The only sound that I could hear was that of the waves breaking against the shore.

It seemed so good to be on dry land that I forgot every danger. I was so tired that I soon fell asleep. Never have I slept more soundly.