| 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 KEEP MYSELF BUSY
 AMONG the things that I brought from the ship there were
several which I have not told you about. I will name them now.
First I got from the captain's desk some pens, ink, and
paper. These were afterward a great comfort to me, as you
There were some charts and compasses, and three or four
books on navigation. These I threw in a corner, for I did not think
I should ever need them.
Among my own things there were three very old Bibles, which
I had bought in England and had packed with my clothing.
And I must not forget the dog and two cats that came to
shore with me. I carried both the cats on my raft with my
As for the dog, he jumped off the wreck and
 swam to the shore. He was my best friend for a long time. He
followed me everywhere. He would run and fetch things to me
as I bade him.
I wanted him to talk to me, but this he could not do.
As for my pens, ink, and paper, I took the greatest care of
them. As long as my ink lasted, I wrote down everything that
happened to me.
But when that was gone, I could write no
more for I did not know how to make ink.
I soon found that I needed many things to make me
First, I wanted a chair and a table; for without them I
must live like a savage.
So I set to work. I had never handled a tool in my life. But
I had a saw, an ax, and several, hatchets; and I soon
learned to use them all.
If I wanted a board, I had to chop down a tree. From the
trunk of the tree I cut a log of the length that my board
was to be. Then I split the log and hewed it flat till it
was as thin as a board.
All this took time and much hard work. But I had nothing
else to do.
I made the table and chair out of short pieces of board I
had brought from the ship.
 Of the large boards which I hewed from trees, I made some
wide shelves along the side of my cave or kitchen.
On these shelves I laid my tools, nails, and other things.
I had a place for everything, and kept everything in its
My cave looked like some stores you have seen where a little
of everything is kept for sale.
From time to time I made many useful things.
From a piece of hard wood that I cut in the forest I made a
spade to dig with. The handle I shaped just like the handles
you buy at the stores. But the shovel part was of wood and
would not last long.
While I was digging my cave, I found it very hard work to
carry the earth and small stones away. I needed a
wheelbarrow very much.
I could make the frame part of this, but I did not know how
to make the wheel. I worked four days at it, and then had to
give it up.
At last I made me a kind of hod, like that which masons use.
It was better than a basket and almost as good as a
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