the physical condition of being stretched or strained
But the fear moved then, moved away, and Brian knew the wolf for what it was—another part of the woods, another part of all of it Brian relaxed the
tension on the spear in his hand, setded the bow in his other hand from where it had started to come up.
a long pointed rod used as a tool or weapon
shafts were willow, straight and with the bark peeled, and he fire-hardened the points and split a couple of them to make forked points, as he had done with the spear.
a small natural hill
He put an arrow to the string, pulled it back to his cheek, pointed it at a dirt
hummock, and at that precise instant the bow wood exploded in his hands sending splinters and chips of wood into his face.
sharply exact or accurate or delimited
He put an arrow to the string, pulled it back to his cheek, pointed it at a dirt hummock, and at that
precise instant the bow wood exploded in his hands sending splinters and chips of wood into his face.
subject to change; variable
He had made a new bow, with slender limbs and a more
fluid, gentle pull, but could not hit the fish though he sat in the water and was, in the end, surrounded by a virtual cloud of small fish.
existing in essence or effect though not in actual fact
He had made a new bow, with slender limbs and a more fluid, gentle pull, but could not hit the fish though he sat in the water and was, in the end, surrounded by a
virtual cloud of small fish.
increase in size, magnitude, number, or intensity
He held the fish against the sky until it stopped wiggling, hdd it and looked to the sky and felt his throat tighten,
swell, and fill with pride at what he had done.
feel extreme happiness or elation
The bow had given him this way and he
exulted in it, in the bow, in the arrow, in the fish, in the hatchet, in the sky.
something used to lure fish or other animals
He had taken the scraps back to the water with the thought they might work for
bait, and die other fish came by die hundreds to clean them up.
make right or correct
In the city if he made a mistake usually there was a way to
rectify it, make it all right If he fell on his bike and sprained a leg he could wait for it to heal; if he forgot something at the store he could find other food in the refrigerator.
urgently needed; absolutely necessary
Early in the new time he had learned the most important thing, the truly
vital knowledge that drives all creatures in the forest— food is all.
a bounded scope
In the tiny
confines of the shelter the effect was devastating.
wreaking or capable of wreaking complete destruction
In the tiny confines of the shelter the effect was
capable of destroying or eating away by chemical action
corrosive spray that hit his face seared into his lungs and eyes, blinding him.
mentally or physically unfit
He thought that he might be permanently blind, or at least
impaired—and that would have been the end.
a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing
He had no
hinges but by arranging some cut-off limbs at the top in the right way he had a method to hook the door in place, and when he was in and the door was hung he felt relatively safe.
a rotating support placed between moving parts
Not bad, he had thought, not bad for somebody who used to have trouble greasing the
bearings on his bicycle.
a high steep bank
Make some kind of pond...
to his right, at the base of the rock
bluff, there were piles of smaller rocks that had fallen from the main chunk, splinters and hunks, from double-fist size to some as large as his head.
the possibility of future success
But his fish-trash pile of bones and skin and guts was in the pond area and the
prospect of food brought them back.
witty language used to convey insults or scorn
sarcasm came into his thoughts—I know that, thank you.
keep from fluctuating or put into an equilibrium
Even when a bird was seven or eight feet away the arrow would turn without feathers to
stabilize it and hit brush or a twig.
flap the wings rapidly or fly with flapping movements
The bird had sat and he had lunged and the two points took the bird back down into the ground and killed it almost instandy—it had
fluttered a bit—and Brian had grabbed it and held it in both hands until he was sure it was dead.
get or find back; recover the use of
Then he stood and
retrieved his arrows and made sure they were all right and went down to the lake to wash the blood off his hands.
come to be separated
But something caught his ear or nose and he began to turn, and had his head half around, when he saw a brown wall of fur
detach itself from the forest to his rear and come down on him like a runaway truck.
feeling or showing gratitude
When he got to the shelter he crawled inside and was
grateful that the coals were still glowing and that he had thought to get wood first thing in the mornings to be ready for the day,
grateful that he had thought to get enough wood for two or three days at a time,
grateful that he had fish nearby if he needed to eat
grateful, finally, as he dozed off, that he was alive.
any of the larger branches of a tree
He found the spear and bow where they were hanging on the pegs of the shelter wall and brought his weapons to the bed he had made of pine
a strong current of air
He brushed those off, found more in his pants, brushed those away, and the wind hit again, heavy
give extra weight to
As if to
emphasize his thoughts the mosquitos—with die fire gone and protective smoke no longer saving him—came back in thick, nostril-clogging swarms.
make a loud noise, as of animal
He rolled out and almost
bellowed with pain from his ribs.
to an unnecessary degree
He slowed his movements and stood slowly, without stretching
unduly, and went to the lake for a drink.