Robinson Crusoe Written Anew for Children - James Baldwin

I Get Ready for Winter

I was so much pleased with the valley I had discovered that I spent much of my time there.

[Illustration] from Robinson Crusoe  by James Baldwin

At last I built me a small summer house close by a grove of orange trees.

It was but little more than a bower, made of the branches of trees.

I built a strong fence around it. This was made of two rows of tall stakes with brushwood between.

There was no gate in this fence, but only a short ladder, just as at my castle.

Here I sometimes stayed two or three nights together.

I gathered about two hundred clusters of grapes and hung them up to dry. In due time they made the finest of raisins. I took them down and carried them to my castle.

Thus little by little I gathered food for winter.

The winters there were not cold. But the rain fell every day, and often all the day.

I had just finished my bower, and was beginning to enjoy myself when the rainy season, or winter, began.

What could I do but hurry back to my castle and its dry, warm cave?

For weeks I could not stir out without getting wet. My store of food began to grow small.

One day, in spite of the rain, I went out and killed a goat. The next day I found a very large turtle among the rocks.

This was all good luck, for I had now enough to eat for many a day.

My meals were simple and plain.

For breakfast, I had a bunch of raisins and a bit of biscuit.

For dinner, I had broiled turtle. I could not have turtle soup, for I had no vessel in which to cook it.

For supper, I ate two or three turtle's eggs.

Although I was kept close indoors by the rain, I was never idle.

Every day I worked at making my cave larger. I dug far in, behind the rock, and made a fine, large room there.

Then I made another door or way out, which opened on the outside of my wall. So now I could come into the castle through the cellar, or kitchen, and without climbing the ladder.

This was much handier and easier than the other way. But it did not seem so safe. I feared now lest some wild beast might get into my house; and yet the biggest animal I had seen on the island was a goat.

Soon after this I put a roof over my whole inclosure. I took a number of long poles for rafters and laid one end of each on the wall, while the other end leaned against the rock above the cave.

These I covered with boughs of trees, long grass, and such other things as I could get. In this way I made a very good roof which turned the rain and kept everything dry.

My castle was now a very roomy place. It was quite warm and dry even in the worst of weather.