the line at which the sky and Earth appear to meet
I kept one eye on the
horizon, one eye on the other end of the lifeboat.
make a high-pitched, screeching noise
I could hear it
a response that reveals a person's feelings or attitude
reaction was to freeze with fear.
exhibiting the qualities that identify a group or kind
The look was nearly the
typical look of a hyena—blank and frank, the curiosity apparent with nothing of the mental set revealed, jaw hanging open, big ears sticking up rigidly, eyes bright and black—were it not for the strain that exuded from every cell of its body, an anxiety that made the animal glow, as if with a fever.
move lightly, as if suspended
I seemed to be
floating in pure, abstract blackness.
the frame or body of ship
With small waves the result was a ceaseless, fist-like beating against the
hull, while larger waves made for a tire-some rolling of the boat as it leaned from side to side.
exceptionally bad or displeasing
dreadful night was preceded by a
on or near the back of an animal or organ
The largest one came at the boat quickly, as if to attack, its
dorsal fin rising out of the water by several inches, but it dipped below just before reaching us and glided underfoot with fearsome grace.
a measuring instrument for weighing
Had Orange Juice been a male, had she loomed as large on the
scales as she did in my heart, it might have been another matter.
relating to or resembling an ape
She looked like a
simian Christ on the Cross.
perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
But the shipping clerk at the Howrah train station was evidendy a man both
befuddled and diligent.
cause to be calm or quiet
sedated a number of the animals to lessen their stress.
In this case, he's sedating them through drugs -- that's actually the most common usage of this word.
an unelaborated elementary awareness of stimulation
I have heard that the hunger for air exceeds as a compelling
sensation the thirst for water.
the tendency to float in water or other liquid
Inside, it was not as spacious as might be expected because of the side benches and the
the food allowance for one day
I found cartons of Seven Oceans Standard Emergency
Ration, from faraway, exotic Bergen, Norway.
synthetic material that can be molded into objects
The breakfast that was to make up for nine missed meals, not to mention odd tiffins that Mother had brought along, came in a half-kilo block, dense, solid and vacuum-packed in silver-coloured
plastic that was covered with instructions in twelve languages.
one who lives through affliction
According to the instructions, each 500-gram carton was supposed to last one
survivor three days.
not of natural origin; prepared or made artificially
synthetic ropes, each 50 metres long
one of the parts into which something naturally divides
With the knife, I cut four
extending out above or beyond a surface or boundary
There were fish— big fish with
protruding foreheads and very long dorsal fins, dorados they are called, and smaller fish, lean and long, unknown to me, and smaller ones still—and there were sharks.
But it happened
practically in silence.
the rear part of a ship
The hyena was leaning against the
stern bench, behind the zebra’s carcass, transfixed.
a qualitative change
Shifts in the wind changed the direction of the rain so that parts of me that were beginning to feel warm were soaked anew.
ditch dug as a fortification and usually filled with water
Vast as the Pacific was around us, suddenly, between us, it seemed a very narrow
moat, with no bars or walls.
a contestant that you are matched against
I must say a word about fear. It is life’s only true
opponent. Only fear can defeat life.
completely and without qualification
And tigers hiss and snarl, which, depending on the emotion behind it, sounds either like autumn leaves rustling on the ground, but a little more resonant, or, when it’s an infuriated snarl, like a giant door with rusty hinges slowly opening—in both cases,
feeling or showing gratitude
I hated him for it, yet at the same time I was
And as much as I wanted to direct my attention to the horizon, to where my salvation lay, it kept straying back to this
marked by unconcern
But in the final set, when the challenger has nothing left to lose, he becomes relaxed again,
being very thin
Out of nowhere, a
scrawny brown rat materialized on the side bench, nervous and breathless.