The Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

The story The Hatchet is about a boy, Brian Robeson and how he gets stranded in northern Canada when the pilot of the plane he is on has a heart attack. He is left without food, water, and shelter. This is the story about how he survived.

His dad lived up near the tundra in Canada. Brian was on his way to see him because his mother had cheated on his father and divorced him, so his father moved away. Brian’s mother didn’t know that Brian knew she had left his father for another man and the secret was killing him. His mother gave him a hatchet before he left to see his father. He then left and got onto the small bush plane.

The pilot was going along merrily when he had a heart attack and died right in front of Brian. Brian didn’t know what to do so he sort of steered the plane and kept going. The plane had been turned a bit while the Pilot was having a heart attack so Brian had no idea where he was going. The radio wouldn’t work and he was looking for a lake to land in so he would have a slightly bigger chance of survival.

Once he woke up he realized he was on a beach and insects were tearing him up. He had landed in a lake and drug himself up. He was still very tired and hurt from the crash so he just fell back asleep again. Once he woke up we went to the lake and got a drink, he was hungry. All he had to survive was a 20-dollar bill, the clothes on his back, and the hatchet his mother had given him before he left. He found a shelter and some berries.

One night while he was asleep in his shelter he heard a ruffling sound. He kicked something and something sharp went right into his leg. It was terrible pain, and he threw the hatchet at it but he missed and hit the wall and a stream of sparks went flying. The next morning he could hardly walk. He couldn’t imagine life any worse. Then he thought back to the porcupine incident and remember how the sparks went flying. He took the hatchet and tried to make more sparks. He was on his way to find something to ignite the fire when he found eggs. They were turtle eggs and were very tasty. He figured out how to make the fire and it kept insects and everything away from him.

A few days later he figured out how to fish. Now he had eggs, raspberries, fire, and fish. He went to the lake to look at himself and he was getting skinnier, tanner, and his hair was all matted. Brian heard a foreign sound coming from above, and then he realized it was a plane! He quickly lit the fire but it was to late the plane has passed. He became so sad he tried killing himself.

He discovered how to save fish in a contraption and had gained tough hope. A skunk had stolen his eggs and sprayed him so he built a door to the shelter and kept his food in a high safe place. He learned how to kill birds and everything was going so much better. When he was near the lake he got attacked by a moose and a tornado swept through. He was badly injured. The tornado took all of his supplies, he was back to having nothing. But the one good thing about the tornado was it brought the plane up to the surface and the plane contained the survival pack.

So Brian went out to get it by making a raft, and having the hatchet. He couldn’t figure out how to get into the plane so he punched it in frustration and the plane’s aluminum gave in! He took the hatchet and started cutting pieces off! The he carelessly dropped the hatchet without knowing what he had just done! He knew it was the only thing he had so he dove down and on the third dive he got it back. He finally got to the pack! He went back to the shelter and fell asleep; he would open it the next morning. In the pack were tons of useful items and most importantly an emergency transmitter, which Brian had absolutely no idea what to do with. Within a few hours he was saved by a fur trapper and got to go home.

When everyone heard his story they had the press all over it. It slowly died down. He came home dying to tell his father the secret he knew but he didn’t, and his mother had still kept seeing the guy she cheated on his father with. Life went back to normal except for the fact that he was a changed boy and never be the same.

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