My 8-year-old daughter is the ultimate survivor. This week she informed me of a book they are reading in her third grade class. The book is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. She summed up the story for me and it sounded something similar to the description below:
Hatchet is the story of a boy named Brian. On a trip to the Canadian oilfields to spend the summer with his dad, the pilot of the Cessna he is traveling in suffers a heart attack and dies. Brian must land the plane in the forest. Brian learns to exist in in this wilderness. He faces many dangers including hunger, animal attacks, and even a tornado. This book gives the reader a better understanding of what it is like to survive in an untamed land.
Yesterday, she came in from playing on the deck, grabbed her shoulder bag and announced that she was going on an adventure to build a fort. Loaded with boxed grape juice, cherry tomatoes, her hat, calf-high boots, shorts, and a walking stick, off she went into the Wash below the cabin. She informed me that she would call when she was ready for me to witness her brilliant engineering.
There were moments when time had gone by and I hadn’t heard a peep. The day was hot, sun blaring, bugs buzzing, and a slight breeze. I would call out, just to get a response and ease my mind that all was well below.
An hour and a half went by and she finally let out a “MOOOMMM!” I cooed back, “Yeah???”.
” I”m ready!” she said.
I slipped on my shoes, grabbed my sun hat and ventured down the granite slope.
as I wound through the overgrown wash that was once a flowing stream I came upon a little free standing structure. I had to ask myself several times …almost in disbelief…”is it really free standing?”
There she was sitting in the little bit of shade her stick lean-to was providing. I couldn’t believe my eyes. This girl had literally designed, engineered and then built a survival structure in a matter of an hour and half….and she is only 8 !
Her design was brilliant, the protective and shade side facing the SW…so important here as the element of the Sun will do you in before anything else. It had a place to hang her hat, and even a small miniature fire pit ready to ignite should she get cold at night.
I was overcome with such pride and inspiration all at once. I learned from her today ( as I do almost every day). I also gained a sense of peace for I know, that this girl will survive even the harshest life has to offer…because she is creative, ambitious, patient, resourceful,visionary, a do-er, a leader. She is the next evolution! xo