Novels Pre-intermediate

The Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss Johann

The priest created this book two centuries ago. He wrote this work to educate his own children. The book had to instill the family values and explain to them how to treat land. It taught to be conscious and sympathetic. The story begins with one family. They go out on the voyage. The ship is caught in a storm and the family manages to get to an uninhabitable tropical island. The husband, the wife and four sons survive. What should they do now? How will they make a living? What will they eat? The family makes a temporary camp and starts exploring the island. They are searching for some remaining items from the ship that might be useful to them. The findings will facilitate life on the island. The parents have farming and housekeeping skills. Still the family faces the same problem. How long will they have to stay on the island?

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The Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss Johann

It was the seventh day of the storm. We didn’t know where we were. Everyone on the ship believed that death was very near. My wife and my four young sons moved close to me.

‘My dear children,’ I said, ‘I don’t think we’re going to die.’

Then, above the noise of the storm, I heard a cry: ‘Land! Land!’

And the ship hit the rocks.

We heard someone shout, ‘There’s no hope now. Let down the boats.’

‘No hope!’ cried the children.

The Swiss Family Robinson by Wyss Johann

‘Be brave, my boys,’ I said. ‘The land isn’t far away. We’ll save ourselves – we’ll find a way. I’ll see what we can do.’

I left our room and looked around, but there were no sailors on the ship. They were all in boats on the sea. We were alone!

I returned to my family. ‘It’s all right,’ I said. ‘The front part of the ship is between two rocks, so it’s above the water. Tomorrow the sea will be calmer and we’ll be able to reach the land.’

The children immediately became happier, but my wife understood the danger of our position. She prepared a meal and the boys went to bed, but my wife and I stayed awake and watched.

The next day, it was not as windy and the sky was clear. We could see that we were near land.

‘Now,’ I said, ‘let’s go round the ship. Let’s look for things that will help us to reach the land. We need food and water too. Then we’ll meet again here.’

Fritz, my oldest boy, brought back guns and gunpowder. My second son, Ernest, found a box of tools, a lot of nails, a big knife, some small knives and some other things. The box was very heavy, but Fritz helped him with it.

When my third son, Jack, opened the door to one of the rooms, two big dogs jumped out at him. They were quite friendly and he brought them with him.

Then my wife came with Franz, our youngest son.

‘Good news,’ she said. ‘A donkey, two goats, a pig, six sheep and some chickens are still alive.’

I said, ‘Those will all be useful – but not the dogs. They’ll eat too much…

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