Nature – Lost in the Forest


Mary stumbled into the clearning. She slipped off her heavy pack, and set it down gratefully, rubbing her aching shoulders. The clearning was bathed in dappled sunlight, and a gentle breeze stirred the leaves of the strong, supple birch trees. A small animal skittered away through the undergrowth, startled by her arrival.

“It’s so calm here”, she thought, “so oddly peaceful, as though everything were okay, as though nothing had happened.” She signed, weary to the bone, and sat down on a tree stump to survey her surroundings. A creek burbled cheerfully nearby, which would provide her with water. And there was ample deadfall to make a small fire. The ground was hard, but flat, and would be suitable for a camp-site, and there was even a sapling in just the right spot to serve as the main beam for a lean-to.

She fished her survival guide out of the front pocket of her pack, and flipped to the section on emergency shelter…

Can you describe how Mary built her leanto, based on the following pictures from her guide book?

Mary crawled in the shelter that she had built. It was rough, obviously, but it felt suprisingly comfortable and safe. She was filled will a feeling she had never had before. It was a sense of pride, of accomplishment and self reliance. In the wild chaos of the forest, she had created a warm, dry, clean home for herself.

Using her pack as a pillow, she laid back and relaxed her tired muscles. After awhile, she picked up her survival guide, and flipped through to the section on edible plants. She had done an inventory of her food. She had some trail mix, a couple of chocolate bars, some beef jerky and an apple. She took the last sip of the water from her water bottle, ate one of the chocolate bars, and got to work, learning how she could feed herself in the days to come.

Most of the information felt too complicated, or just plain gross. She wasn’t going to eat ants, squirrels, or tad poles, thank you very much. The book seemed to laugh at her. “If these recipies don’t appeal to you yet, wait” it said.

She was exhausted, and needed to sleep. The Sun had gone down, and it was getting cold and dark. She had made a small fire outside of her leanto, just for a friendly, little warmth and light. She lay down and covered herself with her thin blanket, and fell into a deep sleep. She slept like a baby until morning.

The next day, she woke up in good spirits. Scared, alone and lost, but free and safe and up for the challenge. She felt sore, but alive in a new way. Surely this would all be over soon, and it would make for a great story. She went to the river and drank some water, then splashed more of the cold water on her face. Then she sat on the stump by her front door, and thumbed through her guide book until she found a simple recipe that she could tackle.

What recipe do you imagine that she found in her guide book? What would the ingredients be, and how would you prepare it?

Add the correct phrasal verbs to learn a survival recipe here!

For more vocabulary, games and activities about Nature, click here.