a small handbook
I pulled out the survival
the mouth of animals other than birds (e.g., turtles)
There was no neck. The turtle had retracted into its shell; all that showed of its head was its eyes and its
beak, surrounded by circles of skin.
not in active use
idle mind tends to sink, so the mind should be kept occupied with whatever light distraction may suggest itself.
confined or restricted with or as if with a rope or chain
I brought out a second rope and
tethered the raft to the lifeboat with it.
relating to the sun or utilizing the energies of the sun
I discovered what a
solar still is.
a shape with a circular base and sides tapering to a point
It consists of an inflatable transparent
cone set upon a round lifebuoy-like buoyancy chamber that has a surface of black rubberized canvas stretched across its centre.
capability to perform or produce
The stills looked pretty and very technological as they floated on the water, but they also looked flimsy, and I was doubtful of their
capacity to produce fresh water.
a small cut
With the sawtoothed edge of the hunting knife I painstakingly cut a
notch into it, about halfway down, and with the knife’s point I drilled three holes through its flat part.
something used to lure fish or other animals
The first problem arose:
move with a thrashing motion
Richard Parker turned his head and snapped his mouth, jowls
flapping, but the fish was too quick for him.
endowed with feeling and unstructured consciousness
It was the first
sentient being I had ever killed.
in a quiet and tranquil manner
Indeed, as they floated
placidly in an arc, they looked almost like cows grazing in a field.
a small amount of solid food; a mouthful
As I drifted away I saw him come out into the open to fetch the
morsel of fish.
an instrumentality needed for an undertaking
Rest and restful activities (writing in diary, examining of scabs and sores, upkeeping of
equipment, puttering about locker, observation and study of Richard Parker, picking at of turtle bones, etc.)
primitive chlorophyll-containing aquatic organisms
The smell of spent hand-flare shells, and prayers at dawn, and the killing of turdes, and the biology of
algae, for example.
joint consisting of a line formed by joining two pieces
Then they tore until only the
seams were left.
an instrument for measuring angular distance
The castaway was to his mind an experienced sailor who, compass, chart and
sextant in hand, knew how he found his way into trouble, if not how he would get out of it.
an area in which something operates or has power or control
Fish that were local in their
ambit made the net their neighbourhood, and the quick ones, the ones that tended to streak by, the dorados, slowed down to visit the new development.
hard outer covering or case of certain organisms
I did it by bringing the victim alongside the bow of the boat,
carapace against hull, and tying a rope to its neck, a front flipper and a back flipper.
a protective covering or structure
Almost anything can make a
the state that precedes vomiting
Your alarmed animal must associate its increasing
nausea with the shrill cries of the whistle.
a severe or trying experience
But there was only the survival manual, which I must have read ten thousand times over the course of my
perceive by inhaling through the nose
The right signal was that when I had his feces in my hand, I rolled them about for some seconds, brought them close to my nose and
sniffed them loudly, and swung my gaze his way a few times in a showy manner, glaring at him wide-eyed (with fear, if only he knew) long enough to give him the willies, but not so long as to provoke him.
My body developed a
revulsion for salt that I still experience to this day.
strong and sharp, as a taste
The taste was
acrid, but it wasn’t that.
the feeling of being tired of something tedious
The worst pair of opposites is
boredom and terror.
decrease rapidly and disappear
A good whack on the offender’s nose with a hatchet sent it
vanishing post-haste into the deep.
tending to form a group with others of the same species
But to know that and to apply it are two very different things (and it’s a useless bit of knowledge if you’re hoping to stare down a
admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding
Treatment should be repeated until the association in the animal’s mind between the sound of the whistle and the feeling of intense, incapacitating nausea is fixed and totally
physical discomfort, as mild sickness or depression
Just one shrill blow and you will see your animal shudder with
malaise and repair at top speed to the safest, furthest part of its territory.