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Robinson Crusoe.

Chapter 21

I sow some grain.

Start of Story

THE first wet season began about the middle of February and lasted till the middle of April The first dry season began about the middle of April and lasted till the middle of August. The second wet season began about the middle of August and lasted till the middle October. The second dry season began about the middle of October and lasted till the middle of February. I could not have kept track of these thing easily if it had not been for my calendar. Just before the first rainy season began I was one day rummaging among the shelves in my cave. There I found the little bag that I had brought from the ship with some barley in it, as I have already told you. I lifted it; it was almost empty. I looked inside. I saw nothing there but some dust and chaff. The rats had been there, and had eaten the grains of barley.

The bag would be useful for something else. I took it outside and shook the dust and chaff upon he ground. It was a sunny place, close by the great rock. About a month after this, I saw that something green was starting to grow at that place. I wondered what it was. It could not be grass, for the stalks were larger and stronger. I had forgotten about the barley. But I took care that nothing should break the stalks down. They grew fast, and were soon as high as my waist. Then I was surprised to see ten or twelve heads of green barley come out. You cannot think how glad I was. I remembered, then, how I had shaken the bag of dust and chaff over that very spot. But there was another surprise for me. I noticed in the wet ground a little nearer the rock some other green plants. These were not so tall as the barley stalks, and they did not seem to be the same.

I watched them for several days. Then I saw [62] that they were stalks of rice. No doubt some grains of rice had been in the bag with the barley, and had fallen out with the dust and chaff. You may be sure that I took good care of the grain. As soon as the barley was ripe I harvested it. There was only a handful or two; but I put it away where no rats could get to it. I wished to keep it safe and plant it again the next season. I did the same way with the rice. There was so little to begin with that it took a long time to grow a big crop. It was not until the fourth harvest that I could keep some of the barley for bread. I found that the best place to plant the grain was not on the hillside, but in a moist spot not far from my summer home..

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Chapter 21 continued
chapter 20
Chapter 20