Robinson Crusoe HTML version

Tames Goats
I CANNOT say that after this, for five years, any extraordinary thing happened to me, but
I lived on in the same course, in the same posture and place, as before; the chief things I
was employed in, besides my yearly labour of planting my barley and rice, and curing my
raisins, of both which I always kept up just enough to have sufficient stock of one year's
provisions beforehand; I say, besides this yearly labour, and my daily pursuit of going out
with my gun, I had one labour, to make a canoe, which at last I finished: so that, by
digging a canal to it of six feet wide and four feet deep, I brought it into the creek, almost
half a mile. As for the first, which was so vastly big, for I made it without considering
beforehand, as I ought to have done, how I should be able to launch it, so, never being
able to bring it into the water, or bring the water to it, I was obliged to let it lie where it
was as a memorandum to teach me to be wiser the next time: indeed, the next time,
though I could not get a tree proper for it, and was in a place where I could not get the
water to it at any less distance than, as I have said, near half a mile, yet, as I saw it was
practicable at last, I never gave it over; and though I was near two years about it, yet I
never grudged my labour, in hopes of having a boat to go off to sea at last.
However, though my little periagua was finished, yet the size of it was not at all
answerable to the design which I had in view when I made the first; I mean of venturing
over to the TERRA FIRMA, where it was above forty miles broad; accordingly, the
smallness of my boat assisted to put an end to that design, and now I thought no more of
it. As I had a boat, my next design was to make a cruise round the island; for as I had
been on the other side in one place, crossing, as I have already described it, over the land,
so the discoveries I made in that little journey made me very eager to see other parts of
the coast; and now I had a boat, I thought of nothing but sailing round the island.
For this purpose, that I might do everything with discretion and consideration, I fitted up
a little mast in my boat, and made a sail too out of some of the pieces of the ship's sails
which lay in store, and of which I had a great stock by me. Having fitted my mast and
sail, and tried the boat, I found she would sail very well; then I made little lockers or
boxes at each end of my boat, to put provisions, necessaries, ammunition, &c., into, to be
kept dry, either from rain or the spray of the sea; and a little, long, hollow place I cut in
the inside of the boat, where I could lay my gun, making a flap to hang down over it to
keep it dry.
I fixed my umbrella also in the step at the stern, like a mast, to stand over my head, and
keep the heat of the sun off me, like an awning; and thus I every now and then took a
little voyage upon the sea, but never went far out, nor far from the little creek. At last,
being eager to view the circumference of my little kingdom, I resolved upon my cruise;
and accordingly I victualled my ship for the voyage, putting in two dozen of loaves
(cakes I should call them) of barley-bread, an earthen pot full of parched rice (a food I ate
a good deal of), a little bottle of rum, half a goat, and powder and shot for killing more,
and two large watch-coats, of those which, as I mentioned before, I had saved out of the
seamen's chests; these I took, one to lie upon, and the other to cover me in the night.