Robinson Crusoe HTML version

Fight Between Friday And A Bear
BUT never was a fight managed so hardily, and in such a surprising manner as that which
followed between Friday and the bear, which gave us all, though at first we were
surprised and afraid for him, the greatest diversion imaginable. As the bear is a heavy,
clumsy creature, and does not gallop as the wolf does, who is swift and light, so he has
two particular qualities, which generally are the rule of his actions; first, as to men, who
are not his proper prey (he does not usually attempt them, except they first attack him,
unless he be excessively hungry, which it is probable might now be the case, the ground
being covered with snow), if you do not meddle with him, he will not meddle with you;
but then you must take care to be very civil to him, and give him the road, for he is a very
nice gentleman; he will not go a step out of his way for a prince; nay, if you are really
afraid, your best way is to look another way and keep going on; for sometimes if you
stop, and stand still, and look steadfastly at him, he takes it for an affront; but if you
throw or toss anything at him, though it were but a bit of stick as big as your finger, he
thinks himself abused, and sets all other business aside to pursue his revenge, and will
have satisfaction in point of honour - that is his first quality: the next is, if he be once
affronted, he will never leave you, night or day, till he has his revenge, but follows at a
good round rate till he overtakes you.
My man Friday had delivered our guide, and when we came up to him he was helping
him off his horse, for the man was both hurt and frightened, when on a sudden we espied
the bear come out of the wood; and a monstrous one it was, the biggest by far that ever I
saw. We were all a little surprised when we saw him; but when Friday saw him, it was
easy to see joy and courage in the fellow's countenance. "O! O! O!" says Friday, three
times, pointing to him; "O master, you give me te leave, me shakee te hand with him; me
makee you good laugh."
I was surprised to see the fellow so well pleased. "You fool," says I, "he will eat you up."
- "Eatee me up! eatee me up!" says Friday, twice over again; "me eatee him up; me
makee you good laugh; you all stay here, me show you good laugh." So down he sits, and
gets off his boots in a moment, and puts on a pair of pumps (as we call the flat shoes they
wear, and which he had in his pocket), gives my other servant his horse, and with his gun
away he flew, swift like the wind.
The bear was walking softly on, and offered to meddle with nobody, till Friday coming
pretty near, calls to him, as if the bear could understand him. "Hark ye, hark ye," says
Friday, "me speakee with you." We followed at a distance, for now being down on the
Gascony side of the mountains, we were entered a vast forest, where the country was
plain and pretty open, though it had many trees in it scattered here and there. Friday, who
had, as we say, the heels of the bear, came up with him quickly, and took up a great
stone, and threw it at him, and hit him just on the head, but did him no more harm than if
he had thrown it against a wall; but it answered Friday's end, for the rogue was so void of
fear that he did it purely to make the bear follow him, and show us some laugh as he
called it. As soon as the bear felt the blow, and saw him, he turns about and comes after