The Swiss Family Robinson
A family was going to Port Jackson from England. They were going through a big vessel. One day on their way to Port Jackson, a violent storm attacked their ship. But amidst everything, they knelt down before God and asked for God's help and guidance. Suddenly there was a shock on the vessel then the father went up the deck to see what was happening. Father saw that there was not even a person on board. The sailors jumped into the last boat and casted the boat into the sea. Father shouted that his family had been left out. But even if the sailors had wanted to return to the ship it would have been impossible for the waves to be high. Father went down to their little cabin. The ship is stuck between two rocks so there is no immediate danger of sinking. But even if it was stuck between two rocks no one slept for fear that the ship might sink.
The next morning all the family gathered in the deck of the ship, then father said each of us had to go down to search what was left on the ship from which they could survive. So, the father found enough food and water, the wife and the youngest son, Frank, found the farm animals. The oldest son, Fritz, found many guns and a lot of gunpowder that could be enough to even blow a castle. Ernest, second son found useful tools, and the third son, Jack found captains two dogs Turk and Juno.
Then everybody shared what they had found, and they planned to go and stay at an island which was near to them. But the problem was the water, it was between the ship and the land. So they got an idea to make a basic raft from barrels. They made enough seats for everyone and extra seats for the important things from the ship. They planned to take only needed things and the rest of them will be on the ship.
The older boys took the oars. When they reached the island they pitched the tent and mother cooked the soup but there was no spoon to eat the soup so the boys gathered the oysters shell as a spoon and coconut shell as a bowl.
Later that night, their dogs Turk and Juno were barking, and Jaguar came to attack them. They shot the jaguar and one died and one left. Father said that it's not safe to sleep in a tent, anyhow we have to build a proper and secure house. The next morning father and Fritz went to the ship and took all the useful things and the animals. They searched a proper place for their house and soon they finally found the right place. The next morning father, Ernest and Fritz went to the ship to get planks from it so they could build a bridge over the river and they didn't have to step in the river to get to their new home. They made the bridge and built a house from a big enormous tree and finally they attached a big canvas cloth from the sailcloth and made it as a roof.
They also learned to read and write at home. Their mother teaches English and Dutch and they learned different languages Latin, Spanish,Malay and German by themselves. Because they also had books with them on the ship. Though they are in wilderness, they were learning about life lessons,
Slowly as the days passed, and years passed and a whole decade passed. One day Fritz was on his way to find pearls. While he was resting near the shore, a bird named Albatross flew and landed near him. Fritz saw it had a note on it’s leg, then he unfolded it and it was written: save an unfortunate English woman from the smoking rock. Then Fritz searched for a smoke signal and found it. It was up a mountain and to his surprise, he saw a lady whose name was Jenny Montrose. After a conversation, they went to Jenny's house and Fritz asked how she came here, then Jenny said, “She was going to meet her father who was an officer at British army in India. But she was caught in a storm. All the crew had a lifeboat and we tried to reach the island, but the lifeboat overturned and she was the only person who survived with some cargo that was washed up to shore. So after hearing that, Fritz also told his story and he took her to meet his family. Then they all lived together for the whole winter.
One sunny day, while Jack was grazing after his sheeps he saw a big ship. Jack ran home as fast as his legs could carry him, he told father and Fritz about the ship. Fritz and father went to see who they were in their canoe. They saw that it was an Englishman’s ship. The whole family thought of meeting the Englishman and his colony, so the next morning the family prepared themselves and they went to visit the colony of the Englishman. The Englishman said that they came to the island to find a lady who was lost while going to England from India. It was the same lady, who Fritz found. Her name was Jenny Monstrose so that night they had a big party in the Englishman's camp. They named the island “New Switzerland”.
Fritz, Jenny and Frank decided to go to England. Fritz and Jenny decided to marry. Jack, Ernest, mother and father and three people from the ship decided to settle in New Switzerland. When the ship was leaving father gave Fritz his life journal and told Fritz to print and publish their life journal so the other children will be also blessed by reading this. So this is the life journal we are reading today. The End !
Author of this novel was Johann David Wyss. He was born in Berne, Switzerland, in 1743. He was a pastor, who spoke four different languages.