Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin

I Am Happy as a King

I had now had adventures enough for a time, and I felt very happy to be at home with my goats and other pets.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

A few years before, I had started with keeping three kids that I had caught. Now I had a herd of three and forty goats, some of them young, some old.

I kept them in five little fields that I had fenced, at the foot of my castle hill. I never had any lack of meat and I had plenty of milk, too.

Indeed, I had gone so far as to set up a little dairy, and sometimes my goats gave me a gallon or two of milk in a day.

Before coming to the island I had never milked a cow, much less a goat. I had never seen butter made, or even cheese. But I learned how to do everything of the kind. And now I had more butter and cheese than I could eat.

After dinner it was my custom to go out for a stroll. How proud I was of my little kingdom!

If you had seen me then, you would not have laughed. You would have been frightened. For a stranger-looking fellow you never saw.

Be pleased to take a picture of me.

On my head was a big cap made of goatskin. It was very tall and without shape. A flap hung down from the back of it to keep the rain off my neck.

I wore a short jacket of goatskin and a pair of knee breeches of the same.

I had neither stockings nor shoes. But I wore around my legs and feet some queer things that I called buskins. They were made of goatskin, too, and were of great use when walking among briers or stones.

Around my waist I had a broad belt of rawhide. I had no need of sword or dagger; and so I carried in this belt a little saw and a hatchet.

Another belt, which hung over my shoulder, held my powderhorn and shot pouch.

On my back was slung a basket. On my shoulder was my gun. Above my head I carried my great clumsy, ugly umbrella.

My face was as dark as mahogany. It was tanned by the sun and browned by the hot winds.

My beard was at one time a yard long. But I soon grew tired of it and cut it pretty short. Yet even then it looked grizzly enough, I assure you.

It is not a very handsome picture, is it?

But do not blame me. I dressed as well as I could. I kept myself clean. I tried to be worthy of respect, even though no one saw me.

I looked over my little kingdom and was proud and happy.

You would have laughed to see me and my family when dinner time came.

First there was myself, Robinson Crusoe, king of the island. I was the lord of everything I could see.

Then, like a king, I dined alone, with my servants looking on.

No one was allowed to talk to me but Poll Parrot, who sat on the back of my chair and waited for what I would give him.

My dog was now so old and feeble that he could hardly stir. He sat always at my right hand and wagged his tail if I did but snap my finger.

My two cats waited, one on each side of the table, to see what I would give them.

These two cats were not the same that I had brought from the ship. Those were dead, long ago, of old age. But they had left many kittens.

Indeed, there had come to be so many cats that I was forced to drive them away. All but these two had gone into the woods and become very wild.