Robinson Crusoe is a classic story in English literature, written by Daniel Defoe. This chapter for Grade 5 is an excerpt adapted from the main story. The story of Robinson Crusoe is of a young man who desired to go for a sea-voyage like his elder brothers instead of becoming a lawyer in England. He ran away from his home with his friend. He boarded a ship that was going to Guiana. Unfortunately, due to rough waters, the ship was wrecked and Robinson Crusoe was the only survivor in the ship. Somehow, he managed to make it to a shore of an island. Soon, he realized that the island was not inhabited by any human. He was the only human on the entire island. All through his stay at the deserted island, he showed great strength of character and presence of mind. His remarkable perseverance took him through twenty-eight-year isolation on the island.
Once a man named Robinson Crusoe was alone on the seaside. His ship was ruined by the sea. So, for a very long time, he was living in a cave near the seashore. One day, he saw a big footprint on the sand. Robinson Crusoe was very surprised to see the footprint. He ran around the area, desperately trying to catch a glimpse of that someone, or even hear something around that would lead him to the other man on the island. He then ran up the hill and looked out in all directions, but found nothing.
He looked and listened very carefully around him but there was only one footmark on the sand and no other. There was no doubt in his mind that the footprints were those of a man – it had five toes, a heel, everything. He remained thoughtful for a long time. The suspense finally got the better of him.
Suddenly, he became fearful of some body’s presence on the seashore. He was crippled with fear and ran fast towards his cave turning back at every step to see whether he was being followed or not. He found all the trees and bushes chasing him masked as men. He wanted to cover himself on reaching home. As much as he tried, Robinson Crusoe could not sleep that night. He stayed in his cave for many days. He got more and more afraid at night and remained inside for the whole time. He fervently prayed for his safety and even as he tried to reason with himself, another more terrifying thought got his imagination completely. He started imagining a group of savages from the mainland caught in that current of the sea and landed on the island, found his boat. They were now looking to kill him and eat him.
For many days, he kept thinking of that footmark and remained inside fearful. After some days, he managed to find the courage and went outside to check for anybody’s presence but found nothing. On seeing nobody for many days, he got strength and courage. He decided to go towards the shore to look and solve the mystery of the footprint. He was sure that he never went to that part of the island in a long time. On reaching there he scaled his foot with that mark and found it was not his own. The mark was much bigger than his foot. His fear emerged again and he ran to his cave feeling someone must be there.
1. Why was Robinson Crusoe sure that it was not his footprints?
Robinson Crusoe was sure that it was not his footprints because after scaling the footmark, he found that the mark was bigger than his foot. He also realized that he had not come to that part of the land in a long time.
2. Why did Robinson Crusoe pray when he saw the footprint?
On seeing the big footprint, Robinson Crusoe prayed fervently for his safety. He tried reasoning with himself but his fear got his imagination completely. He imagined that a group of savages from the mainland might have wandered on the shore and after finding his boat, they would now kill him and eat him.
3. How did Robinson Crusoe have his courage back and what did he do next?
Robinson Crusoe remained in his caves for many days. He did not come out of his cave. After pondering over the issue for a few days, he finally managed to find the courage again. He reasoned with himself that in all those years on the island, he had never seen a living human. He started to believe in himself and went to the area where he found the footmark. He scaled the mark and realized that the footprint was bigger than his foot and he had not been to that area in a long time. Fear again crippled in him and he ran to his cave and stayed inside for many days.
4. Why was Robinson Crusoe afraid when he looked at the bushes and trees?
When the suspense of someone’s presence on the deserted island caught his imagination, he ran fast towards his cave, looking back at every step to check whether anyone one followed him. He was so scared that he looked at the bushes and trees, which seemed like masked men chasing him.