Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin

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.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

First I got from the captain's desk some pens, ink, and paper. These were afterward a great comfort to me, as you shall learn.

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 first cargo.

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 comfortable.

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 place.

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 wheelbarrow.