I designed, after my first voyage, to spend the rest of my days at Bagdad; but it was not long ere I grew weary of a quiet life. My inclination to trade revived. I bought goods suited to the commerce I intended, and put to sea a second time, with merchants of known probity. We embarked on board a good ship, and after recommending ourselves to God, set sail. We traded from island to island, and exchanged commodities with great profit. One day we landed on an island covered with several sorts of fruit trees, but so unpeopled, that we could see neither man nor beast upon it. We went to take a little fresh air in the meadows, and along the streams that watered them. Whilst some diverted themselves with gathering flowers, and others with gathering fruits, I took my wine and provisions, and sat down by a stream betwixt two great trees, which formed a curious shape. I made a very good meal, and afterwards fell asleep. I cannot tell how long I slept, but when I awoke the ship was gone.
I was very much surprised to find the ship gone. I got up and looked about everywhere, and could not see one of the merchants who landed with me. At last I perceived the ship under sail, but at such a distance that I lost sight of her in a very little time.
I leave you to guess at my melancholy reflections in this sad condition. I was ready to die with grief: I cried out sadly, beat my head and breast, and threw myself down upon the ground, where I lay some time in a terrible agony. I upbraided myself a hundred times for not being content with the produce of my first voyage, that might well have served me all my life. But all this was in vain, and my repentance out of season.
At last I resigned myself to the will of God; and not knowing what to do, I climbed up to the top of a great tree, from whence I looked about on all sides to see if there was anything that could give me hope. When I looked towards the sea, I could see nothing but sky and water, but looking towards the land I saw something white; and, coming down from the tree, I took up what provision I had left and went towards it, the distance being so great that I could not distinguish what it was.
Read the rest of the story from the PDF above…
For other interesting stories for kids, browse though our huge collection of short stories here.