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Robinson Crusoe for Children by  James Baldwin

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I EXPLORE MY ISLAND

[52] IT rained all that night. But in the cave everything was warm and dry, and little by little I lost my fear.


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The earthquake and the hurricane had done great damage to my castle. I had to work hard for many days to put things to rights again.

I had now been on the island about ten months. In all that time I had seen only a small part of it .

One morning I set out with my gun on my shoulder for a long walk.

I went up the little river where I had first landed with my rafts. I found that it was a very short river. After about two miles, the tide did not flow any higher; and above that, the stream was only a little brook of fresh water.

[53] Along the brook there were pleasant meadows, covered with high grass.

In the dryer parts of these meadows I found tobacco growing wild.

I looked for the roots of a plant which the Indians use instead of bread, but could find none.

In one place, however, I saw many tall sugar canes and some fair-looking plants of a kind that was strange to me.

As I went back to my castle I wondered how I could learn something useful about the many objects I had seen. But I had never taken much thought about such things, and now I had but little chance to learn.

The next day I went up the same way, but much farther.

Beyond the meadows I came to some beautiful woods.

Here I found several different kinds of fruits. There were grapevines covering the trees, and huge clusters of ripe grapes were hanging from them.

I was very glad of this. I made up my mind to come another day and gather some of this fruit. I would dry the grapes in the sun, and have some raisins.

[54] Night came on while I was still in the woods, and I could not do better than stay there till morning. So I climbed into a tree and slept there quite well.

It was the first night that I had spent away from home.

The next day I went on through the woods for nearly four miles.

At last I came to an open space where the land sloped to the west. The country was so fresh and green that it looked like a big garden.

I went down into a pleasant valley where there were many beautiful trees. There I found oranges, lemons, limes, and citrons, besides many grapes.

I loaded myself with fruit and started homeward. "I must come again and bring a sack," I said.

It was three days before I reached my castle. By that time the fruit had lost all its flavor.

The next day I went back to the same valley. I carried two small sacks to bring home my harvest.

But I found many of the grapevines torn down. The fruit was scattered on the ground. Some had been eaten. Some had been trodden to pieces.

A wild animal had been there. Perhaps it was a goat, perhaps it was a larger beast. Perhaps several animals had done the mischief.


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