| 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 AM PLEASED WITH MY MAN FRIDAY
 THE savage spoke to me. I could not understand his words, but
they were very pleasant to hear. For it had now been more
than twenty-five years since I had heard the sound of a
He pointed to the two savages who had been pursuing him.
They were lying on the ground where they had fallen. Both
were quite dead.
He could not understand how I had killed the second savage
when he was so far away from me. He made signs that I should
let him see whether his enemy was really dead or only
pretending to be so.
I told him, as well as I could, that he might go to him. He
ran to the fallen savage and looked at him. He turned him
first on one side and then on the other. He seemed very much
 Then he picked up the savage's bow and arrows and brought
them to me.
I turned to go back to my castle and beckoned him to follow
He stood quite still for a moment and then pointed again to
the bodies on the ground. By signs he asked me if he might
bury them, lest the other savages should come up and find
them there. I answered by signs and gave him leave.
was quickly done. With a sharp stick and his big hands he
soon dug two big holes in the sand. He laid the bodies in
them and covered them up. Then he smoothed the sand and patted
it down so that no one could see that it had been touched.
Having thus put the two savages out of sight he turned to me
again. I motioned him to follow me. But on second thought I
did not go back to the castle. I led him far into the woods,
to my new cave of which I have told you.
Once inside of that cave, I felt safe.
I gave the poor fellow some bread and a bunch of raisins to
eat. I gave him also a drink of water from a jug, and he was
so thirsty from running that he came near drinking it all.
 Then I showed him a place where I had put some rice straw
with a blanket over it. It was quite a good bed, and I
myself had sometimes slept upon it.
He seemed to know that I meant for him to lie down there and
rest. Soon he was fast asleep.
He was a handsome fellow. He was tall but not too large.
His hair was long and black. His forehead was high and
broad. His eyes were very bright.
His face was round and plump. His nose was well shaped. His
lips were thin. His teeth were white as ivory.
His skin was not black like that of an African. It was not
yellow like that of some Indians. But it was a kind of olive
color, very pleasant to look at.
After he had been asleep about an hour he awoke and came out
of the cave where I was milking my goats. He made signs to
show that he was glad to
Then he laid his head flat down on the ground and set my
foot upon it, as he had done before. This was his way of
saying that he would do anything I wished.
I understood him and told him by signs that I was well
pleased with him.
 I spoke some simple words to him and tried to teach him what
they meant. He was quick to learn and soon began to try to
talk to me.
I named him FRIDAY, because it was on that day of the week
that I had saved his life.
He soon learned to call me "Master," and to say "yes" and
"no" in the right way.
In the evening I gave him an earthen pot with some milk in
it, and showed him how to sop his bread in the milk. I also
gave him a barley cake, which he ate as though it was very
All that night we stayed in the cave. But early the next
morning I led him back to my castle.
My first care was to learn whether the savages had left the
island. I climbed to the top of the rock and looked around
with my spyglass.
I saw the place where the savages had been. I saw where they
had built their fire. But they were not there. I could see
no sign of them or of their canoes. It was plain that they
had left the place.
I gave my man Friday one of my guns to carry. In his right
hand he held my sword, and on his back were his bow and
I carried two guns myself. And thus armed we went boldly
down to the beach.
 The sand was red with blood, and bones and bits of flesh
were scattered all around. These I caused Friday to gather
up and bury.
We stayed on the beach for some time, but could find nothing
Friday gave me to understand that there had been three other
prisoners in the boats with him. I had no doubt that the
savages had killed and eaten them all.
The next day I made a tent for Friday to stay in. It was
just inside of my castle wall and in front of the door into
my own sleeping room.
As he had no clothes I set to work to make him a suit. I
gave him some linen trousers which had belonged to one of
our sailors, and which I had not worn because they were too
Then I made him a little jacket of goatskin, and from the
skin of a rabbit I fashioned a very good cap that fitted his
head quite well.
You should have seen him when he was clothed. He was very
proud, but oh, so awkward!
He went around with a broad smile on his face. He tried to
do everything that was pleasing to me.
And indeed I was much delighted with him. For no man ever
had a more faithful servant.
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