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Hatchet

Hatchet

by Gary Paulsen

Hatchet Chapter 10 Summary

  • At first, Brian is reluctant to leave the fire, worried that it will go out. He sits by it for a good part of the day, feeding it more wood and just basking in the joy of having it.
  • Finally, in the afternoon, he goes out of the shelter to search for enough wood to keep the fire burning through the night. 
  • As it turns out, when he's near the fire, the mosquitoes leave him alone. That's good to know. He also realizes that he can use the smoke from the fire to make a signal if he ever sees a plane pass overhead. That's really good to know.
  • As it gets dark, Brian settles in for the night and eats the rest of his raspberries. His leg still aches from the porcupine quills, but it's gotten a little less stiff. Tomorrow he plans to look for more food and to build a signal fire. 
  • Brian wakes up during the night and finds that the fire has almost gone out. He stirs it up with a stick and adds some more wood to get it going again. He hears a sound outside the shelter, but the fire makes him feel relatively safe, so he goes back to sleep.
  • When he wakes up in the morning, he finds tracks in the sand in front of the shelter, leading up from the lake and then back down. There's a pile of sand near the shelter where the tracks stop. Trying to figure out what kind of animal it was, and what it had been doing, Brian digs down into the sand pile and finds a cache of eggs. It must have been a turtle, he decides, coming up onto the land to lay its eggs. Cute!
  • When he sees the eggs, Brian realizes how hungry he is. There are seventeen of them, but he's not sure how to go about eating them. He has nothing to cook them in, and the idea of eating them raw grosses him out. You're not the only one, buddy. 
  • But they are food. He cuts one open with the hatchet (the outsides are tough and leathery) and forces himself to suck out the insides. They're greasy, and Brian doesn't like the way they taste, but he's so hungry that he eats six of them before he stops and decides to save some for later. 
  • Somehow eating the eggs makes him even more aware of his hunger. He licks the insides of the shells clean, and even tries to eat the shells themselves, but they're too tough and he can't get them down. This is the stuff Joe Rogan is made of.
  • He decides to store the remaining eggs in the shelter, and eat only one a day to make them last. 
  • Brian realizes that in making this plan he's forgotten to think about when he'll be rescued. He reminds himself that he can't forget that. After all, that's what gives him hope, and he has to hold on to his hope.

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