Burning Down the Village

Burning Down the Village

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Storyboard Description

A scene from the Island of the Blue Dolphins.

Storyboard Text

  • I do not remember much of this time, except that many suns rose and set. I thought about what I was going to do now that I was alone. I did not leave the village. Not until I had eaten all of the abalones did I leave and then only to gather more. 
  • Yet I do remember the day that I decided I would never live in the village again. 
  • It was a morning of thick fog and the sound of far off waves breaking on the shore. I had never noticed before how silent the village was. Fog crept in and out of the empty huts. It made shapes as it drifted and they reminded me of all the people who were dead and those who were gone. The noise of the surf seemed to be their voices speaking.
  • I sat for a long time, seeing these shapes and hearing the voices, until the sun came out and the fog vanished.
  • Then I made a fire against the wall of the house. When it was burned to the earth I started a fire in another house. Thus, one by one, I destroyed them all so that there were only ashes left to mark the village of Ghalas-at.
  • There was nothing to take away with me except a basket of food. I therefore travelled fast and before night fell I reached the place where I had decided to live until the ship returned.
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