Hatchet Chapters 13 - 16 Summary

After the plane flew off without seeing him, Brian felt himself plunge into a dark depression. He did not eat, he did not keep the fire going, and he tried to kill himself, by cutting himself. He did not want to go on living alone in the wilderness.

He laid on the rock on top of his shelter all night thinking about how he did not want to go on anymore. The next morning, he realized he was different person, he had changed, he didn't want to die and he was new, he was now a survivor.

He made a bow and some arrows in order to catch fish. He was never so happy as the first time he managed to catch a fish with his new bow and arrow. He now knew he could find food to cook and he would be able to survive. He also learned to listen to his instincts when he was outside his shelter. He had an internal warning system, as his body let him know when he needed to aware of danger. This saved him from a dangerous encounter with a mother bear and her cubs and from some wolves, who were traveling near him.

He also had hope and knowledge, which he called "tough hope". He had been in the wild 47 days, and a new Brian for 42 days, he knew he could live in the wild as long as he needed to.

Brian was learning that mistakes in the wild could be deadly. If he were to become incapacitated by injury or illness, he might starve to death. He learned a hard lesson after he tried to scare a skunk away from his cache of turtle eggs. The skunk sprayed him in the eyes and blinded him for two hours. It was frightening for him not to be able to see the world around him. The total effects of the skunk spray took over a month to dissipate.

He decided to weave himself a more secure wall and door for his shelter, to keep out small animals. He also found a ledge above his shelter to store his food and he made an enclosure at the edge of the lake to keep fish, for future use. Most of all he was learning from his mistakes, which made his life safer and more secure.

As the days went on Brian began to think in terms of events and not days. The event he focused on most was the day of First Meat. He had tired of eating fish and berries, what he really wanted was meat. He had seen what he called the foolbirds sitting on the forest floor, almost invisible to the eye, until the bird flew off right in front of him. He though if he could catch one of them, then he could have some meat.

He tried to use his bow and arrow to hunt the foolbirds, but without any feathers on his arrows it was impossible to hit them. He also had the added problem of spotting the birds while they sat on the ground. He solved that problem after he noticed one of the birds in flight. He realized he should be looking for the pear shape of the birds, not for the feathers on the forest floor. He also started to use his spear to kill the birds, after a few misses he managed to kill one and bring it back to his shelter.

He then confronted the next obstacle, which was how to clean the animal. He was used to buying chickens from a grocery store, so he had no idea what to do with a freshly killed bird. He soon learned to take the skin and feathers off, it was like peeling an orange. He learned it was best to put the bird on a cooking stick, which he set on a forked stick, so he could turn the bird as it cooked. The first bite of the meat was the best food he had ever tasted.

He soon learned to kill and cook rabbits. He was eating well and discovering better techniques for killing the foolbirds. It was on a day, after he had just killed a foolbird, when he had an encounter with a moose, which almost killed him. The moose came at him with very little warning, only a slight sound, and it hit him with the force, of what seemed to him, a truck. He was propelled into the lake by the hit, but the moose was not done with him yet. She came into the water after him and drove him down to the bottom of the lake, he felt as if he was going to drown. As he came to the surface and tried to make his way out of the lake, the moose attacked again, this time she hurt his ribs to a point which made walking very difficult.

He made it back to his shelter to sleep, but he was awakened by the wind sounding in a way he had never heard before. He, after a bit, realized it was a tornado and it was headed straight for him. The tornado hit his shelter pitching him against the back wall and throwing all his belonging out of the shelter. He was hit with the hot embers of his fire and engulfed afterwards by mosquitos. He realized he would have to start all over again and was grateful to still have his hatchet. The tornado did move the airplane in the lake, making the tail visible, which Brian was surprised to see.

Brian has changed from a boy waiting to be rescued to a young man who is surviving on his own. He makes mistakes, but he learns from them and adapts to the changes in his situation. He is attacked by a moose and endures a tornado, yet he keeps his will to survive.

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Hatchet Chapters 13 - 16 Quiz
Hatchet Chapters 17 - Epilogue Summary
Hatchet Chapters 1 - 4 Summary
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Hatchet Important Characters
Hatchet Quiz
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Gary Paulsen Facts

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