Treasure Island 24: Ben Gunn’s Boat | Level 7 | By Little Fox

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[Series Introduction]

Adapted from the classic novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, this series follows Jim when he goes in search of a treasure island. But soon Jim finds himself in dangerous situations, including deathly fights with a pirate!


I awoke and found myself still tossing in the sea. The sun was rising behind Spyglass Hill, and from my perspective, I could see one side of the hill descending into the sea. This side of Spyglass was bare, with cliffs about fifty feet high and fallen rock spilling into the ocean at its base. I was about a quarter of a mile out at sea and my first thought was to paddle in, but I soon gave up that idea.
"Just look at those huge waves crashing on the rocks," I said to myself. "I’ll be dashed to pieces. Even if I could make it through the waves, I’d die trying to climb the cliffs."
In addition to the waves and the rocks, there were strange monsters crawling together in large groups on the bigger, flatter rocks. They looked like giant soft snails, and when they roared, the rocky cliffs echoed. Some dove into the sea with loud splashes. I’ve since discovered they were harmless sea lions, but they were another reason I didn’t want to land on that shore. "I’d rather starve at sea," I thought.
I remembered that the map indicated that the Cape of the Woods was south of my position. The cape had a long stretch of yellow sand, and I felt I’d have a better chance landing there.
The smooth, blue swells of the sea rose and fell, and lucky for me, my little boat rode them well. I lay still at the bottom of the boat and peered up at the big, blue waves rising close by.
"Thank God for Ben Gunn’s little boat," I thought.
I sat up and tried to paddle a little. Immediately, the movement made the boat unsteady, and it ran straight down a steep slope of water, striking the next wave nose first. Drenched and terrified, I quickly lay back down again.
"I’ll never reach land!" I cried, frightened. But the boat instantly righted itself among the surging waves.
"I mustn’t panic," I told myself. "If I don’t disturb the boat’s balance, I can paddle over one side in between swells."
It was slow and tiring work, but I made progress. Even though I was still too far out from Cape of the Woods to land, I knew I’d surely hit the beach at some point. But I was tortured by thirst. The harsh sun on my body and the sea salt on my lips made my throat burn and my brain ache. The trees on the beach looked so close, and I felt sick with longing. Then suddenly I saw a familiar sight. Not half a mile away, the Hispaniola was sailing north.
"I don’t care if they capture me," I thought. "I need water."
The Hispaniola’s beautiful, white canvas sails shone like silver in the sun, and I guessed that the men on board were sailing around the island and back to the anchorage. But soon, the ship turned westward.
"They see me," I thought. "They’re turning around to pick me up."
But then the Hispaniola’s sails suddenly lost the wind, and the ship stood there, helpless.
"Stupid fellows," I said. "They’re still drunk."
A breeze came up and the sails gradually filled again; the Hispaniola sailed swiftly for a minute, and then once more lost the wind. This happene again and again, to and fro, up and down, north, south, east, and west, as the Hispaniola’s sails flapped idly.
"Nobody’s steering!" I realized. "If I can board the ship, I can return it to the captain. And there’s drinking water on board! I can taste it already."
. . .

[Little Fox Introduction]

Little Fox is an award-winning library of leveled stories and songs. We create animated stories and songs to help kids to learn English easily as a second language (ESL). Visit our website,, to learn more about our unique curriculum and our thousands of digital resources.


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