| 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 SOW SOME GRAIN
 THE first wet season began about the middle of February and
lasted till the middle April.
The first dry season began about the middle of April and lasted
till the middle of August.
The second wet season began about the middle of August and
lasted till the middle October.
The second dry season began about the middle of October and
lasted till the middle of February.
I could not have kept track of these thing easily if it had
not been for my calendar.
Just before the first rainy season began I was one day
rummaging among the shelves in my cave.
There I found the little bag that I had brought from the
ship with some barley in it, as I have already told you.
I lifted it; it was almost empty.
 I looked inside. I saw nothing there but some dust and
chaff. The rats had been there, and had eaten the grains of
The bag would be useful for something else. I took it
outside and shook the dust and chaff upon he ground. It was
a sunny place, close by the great rock.
About a month after this, I saw that something green was
starting to grow at that place. I wondered what it was. It
could not be grass, for the stalks were larger and stronger.
I had forgotten about the barley. But I took care that
nothing should break the stalks down.
They grew fast, and were soon as high as my waist. Then I
was surprised to see ten or twelve heads of green barley
You cannot think how glad I was. I remembered, then, how I
had shaken the bag of dust and chaff over that very spot.
But there was another surprise for me. I noticed in the wet
ground a little nearer the rock some other green plants.
These were not so tall as the barley stalks, and they did
not seem to be the same.
I watched them for several days. Then I saw
 that they were stalks of rice. No doubt some grains of rice
had been in the bag with the barley, and had fallen out with
the dust and chaff.
You may be sure that I took good care of the grain. As soon
as the barley was ripe I harvested it. There was only a
handful or two; but I put it away where no rats could get to
it. I wished to keep it safe and plant it again the next
I did the same way with the rice.
There was so little to begin with that it took a long time
to grow a big crop. It was not until the fourth harvest that
I could keep some of the barley for bread.
I found that the best place to plant the grain was not on
the hillside, but in a moist spot not far from my summer
One day, as soon as the wet season was at an end, I made a
visit to the country to see how my crops were growing.
There I saw something that surprised me.
You will remember the fence that I built around my summer
house, or bower as I called it. It was made of two rows of
tall stakes, with brush between.
Well, I now found that the stakes were still green, and that
long shoots or twigs were growing
 from them. Some of these branches were already two or three
This pleased me very much. I cut and trained the growing
branches into just such shapes as I wished.
They grew very fast, and soon the whole fence was covered
with green leaves. Then I trained the long branches toward
the top of a pole which I set up in the center of my bower.
In a few months the whole inclosure was covered with a green
You cannot think how beautiful it was. The place was shady
and cool, the pleasantest spot one could wish to have.
I did not know what kind of tree it was that grew in this
wonderful way. But I cut some more stakes of the same sort
and carried them home to my castle.
I set these stakes in a double row, about twenty inches
outside of my first wall. In a few weeks they began to grow.
They grew so fast that in two years they covered the whole
space in front of my castle.
They were not only handsome to look at, but they helped to
protect my castle.
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