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Robinson Crusoe for Children by  James Baldwin

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I HARVEST MY GRAIN

[67] I CANNOT tell you how glad I was to get to my old house again and lie down in my good hammock bed.

I had been away for nearly a month.


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I was so tired from my long journey that I stayed in my castle nearly a week.

While I was thus resting myself, I made a cage for my parrot which I named Poll. He was very gentle for a parrot, and soon became very fond of me.

Then I began to think of the kid that I had left in my summer bower. So I went with my dog to fetch it.

I found it where I had left it. It had eaten all the grass inside of the fence and was now very hungry.

I gave it as much as it wished, and then I tied the string to it to lead it away. But there was no need of that, for it was quite tame.

[68] It followed me everywhere. It was very gentle and loving.

I had now a number of pets and was no longer lonesome.

My life was much happier than it had been while I was sailing the seas. I took delight in many things that I had never cared for before.

My barley and rice had grown well and in another month would be ready to be harvested.

But one day I saw that some animals had been in the field. Goats and rabbits had trampled upon the green stalks and had eaten the long blades of barley.

If things kept on this way I should soon lose my grain.

There was nothing to be done but to build a fence or hedge around the field. This was easy, for the field was not large.

I drove tall stakes into the ground all around my growing crops. These stakes were so close together that not even a rabbit could get between them.

Then I tied my dog near the gate of the little field, so that he would bark whenever any animal came near.

[69] My grain was now safe from the beasts. It grew fast. The barley sent out large heads which soon began to ripen.

But now the birds came down in great flocks to rob me. They sat on the fence, they flew among the stalks of grain, they carried away all the ripe barley they could find.

This troubled me very much. The most of the grain was still green. But I feared that as soon as it ripened I should lose it all.

I loaded my gun and went out to the field. There I saw the thieves, sitting on the fence and watching me. I was so angry that I fired right among them and killed three.

"Now I will show you how to steal my grain!" I cried.

I put up a long pole in the center of the field, and on top of it I hung the three dead birds.

"This will I do to all that venture to come into my field," I said.

Strange to say, this ended all my troubles. Not another bird came to that place so long as my scarecrows hung there. In fact, the birds went away from that part of the island, and I did not soon see another.


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