| Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children|
|by James Baldwin|
|Adaptation of the story of Robinson Crusoe for children. Relates how the shipwrecked sailor makes a new life for himself on the island, crafting shelter, food, and clothing for himself from the few tools he rescued from the ship and what he is able to find on the island. Living on the island for over twenty years before he is finally rescued, he reinvents almost everything necessary for daily sustenance. Ages 7-9 |
I GET HOLD OF A SAVAGE
 FOR a year and a half I kept close watch upon the farther shore
of the island as well as upon that nearest to my castle. But
not a single savage came near.
 One morning in June, however, I had a great surprise.
I was just starting out from my castle when I saw five
canoes lying high and dry on the beach not a mile away.
There was not man near them. The people who had come in them
were perhaps asleep among the trees.
The number of canoes was greater than I had ever counted
upon seeing. For there were always four or six savages in
each canoe, and there must now be between twenty and thirty
men somewhere on the shore.
I did not know what to think of it. I did not feel brave
enough to attack so many.
So I stayed in my castle and made
ready to defend myself.
"There is little hope of getting a savage this time," I
thought to myself.
I waited a long while, but heard no unusual sound. I grew
tired of waiting, and made up my mind to see what was going
So, with the help of my ladder, I climbed up to my lookout
on the top of the rock. I put my spyglass to my eyes and
looked down upon the beach.
 Surely enough! there they were. I saw no fewer than thirty
naked savages dancing around a fire. I saw that they were
broiling meat upon the coals, but I could not tell what kind
of meat it was.
As I watched I saw some of the dancers run to a boat and
drag two miserable prisoners from it. They must have been in
the boat all the time, but as they were lying down I did not
All the dancers now crowded around the poor prisoners. They
knocked one of them down with a club, and then fell upon him
with their knives. I supposed they were going to cut him up
for their horrid feast.
For a few moments they seemed to forget the other prisoner,
for they left him standing alone at one side.
All at once he made a break for liberty. You never saw a
hound run so fast.
He ran along the sandy beach, right toward my castle. I was
dreadfully frightened. I thought that now my dream was
coming true, and that he would surely hide in my grove.
But would the other part of the dream come true? Would the
other savages lose sight of him,
 and running another way, not come near the castle? I feared
However, I stayed in my lookout and watched to see what
I saw, to my joy, that only three of the savage followed
him. He ran so fast that he gained ground on them. If he
could hold out for ten or fifteen minutes, he would get away
from them all.
Between the savages and my castle there was the little river
where I had first landed with my raft. If the poor fellow
could not swim across this stream, he would surely be taken.
I watched to see what he would do.
To my surprise the river did not hinder him at all. The tide
was up, but he plunged in and with twenty or thirty strokes
was across. I had never seen a finer swimmer.
When his pursuers reached the stream, he was already far
away. Two of them jumped in and swam across. The other one
stood still a minute and then turned softly back. It was
lucky for him that he could not swim.
"Now," thought I to myself, "now is the time to get me a
In another moment I was down in my castle. I
 picked up my two guns. I was over the wall in less time than
it takes me to tell about it. Never once did I think of
I ran swiftly down the hill toward the sea. In another
minute I was between the poor captive and his pursuers.
"Hello, there! Come back! I will help you," I cried.
Of course he did not understand a word. But he heard me and
looked back. I beckoned to him with my hand, and this he
There was no time for waiting, however. The two savages that
followed were close upon me.
I rushed upon the foremost one and knocked him down with my
gun. I did not want to shoot, lest the other savages would
hear the noise and come to his rescue.
The second pursuer came, running and panting, only a little
way behind. When he saw me, he stopped as if he were
frightened. I ran toward him, with my gun to my shoulder.
As I came nearer, I saw that he had a bow and arrow and was
taking aim at me. What could I do but shoot? He fell to the
ground and never moved again.
 I now looked around to see what had become of the poor
captive. I saw him standing still and gazing at me. The
noise of my gun had frightened him so that he did not know
what to do.
I called to him: "Come here, my good fellow I will not hurt
But of course he did not understand. Then I motioned to him
with signs. He came a little way and then stopped. He came a
little farther and stopped again. He was trembling like a
No doubt he was afraid that he would be killed as his two
pursuers had been.
I spoke kindly to him and made signs that I would not hurt
him. He came nearer and nearer, trembling, and kneeling down
at almost every step.
I smiled; I looked as pleasant as I could; I made still
He came quite close to me. He laid his head upon the ground.
He took hold of my foot and set it on his neck. This was his
way of saying that he would be my slave forever.
I took hold of his hand and lifted him up. I spoke kindly to
Thus I at last got hold of a savage, as I had so long
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