Vincent, Monica: Girl against the jungle
Suzanne, Pucalpa, Chriistmas, plane, dead, Monica Vincent, Referat, Hausaufgabe, Vincent, Monica: Girl against the jungle
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Girl against the Jungle
By Monica Vincent
At Cristmas eve at Lima Airport Suzanne and her mother wait for their plane to Pucalpa, a little town in the jungle of Peru on the other side of the Andes. Suzanne has been away from her home in this place in the jungle for three months and wants to get back to her dad, who is preparing Christmas. During the flight the weather gets worse and worse. Suddenly the plane starts rolling from one side to the other, there are flashes of lightning and then the plane starts to spin. A flame flashes out of the right wing. People cry and shout and her mother says: ”This is the end !” Then there is a loud BANG. The plane breaks into pieces in the air and Suzanne can see, that she is falling to the trees, still strapped to her seat with the seat belt.
At the same evening, Suzanne’s father listens to the radio and hears, that probably his wife and child are dead. He is very sad, but there is nothing he can do.
The plane has crashed and Suzanne is alone in the jungle. She’s wet and cold. She has lost her glasses and one shoe and has got some wounds on her head and at her left foot. Suzanne feels very weak, so she falls asleep soon. After she wakes up again, she remembers the things she has learned about the jungle from her parents. The most important rules are:
- Find a river. Rivers are the roads of the jungle and people live at rivers.
- Carry a stick and make a noise to chase away snakes and other small animals from the ground on your way.
- Don´t be afraid of large animals, they go away from you. Small animals are dangerous, they might kill you.
- Don´t stop.
- Don´t eat strange fruit.
She finds some sweets in a Christmas parcel at her seat. She takes the sweets, picks up a stick and starts walking through the jungle. After hours she finds a small stream. As she washes herself, she can see, that the wound at her foot still is bleeding. She remembers the piranhas and the alligators. They both smell blood. Suzanne can’t walk in the stream, so she walks on the bank. Now she has got some food, enough fresh water and the strong will to get home to her dad.
After a while she finds a seat of the plane with the dead bodies of three other girls. She thinks, that no one else from the plane is alive and again tells herself, that she must go on walking.
The next night she can´t sleep well because a lot of strange noises from the jungle keep her awake and the mosquitoes start attacking her again and again.
On that day she finds many broken pieces of the plane and more dead bodies. Again she can´t hear any people and now she is sure that all the others, also her mother, are dead.
She still feels little pain and is not afraid, because she knows the jungle. But she knows, that she has to be careful. She is week from her wounds and the heat. Because she can´t fasten her dress on the back the sun burns her skin there, which also hurts. But the worst thing are the mosquitoes and flies biting her again and again. Sometimes she can hear the noise of a plane, but she knows, that the people in the planes can´t see her and can´t hear her, so they can´t help her. Often there is very strong rain and it is very difficult to keep on walking. But finally the small stream leads her to a bigger river. She has lost her sweets during the last storm but now, she has new hope.
Suzanne remembers the worst thing about the flies: They lay their eggs under your skin and the eggs will grow into terrible maggots that will eat your flesh. For days she keeps on walking, always in danger from small and big animals. As she sees, that maggots are growing under her skin, she makes a tool from a metal ring that she wears and digs out the maggots. Because she is getting weaker and weaker, she sometimes swims in the river for a while, because this is easier than walking. But she leaves the water after a short time because of the alligators and the piranhas and dangerous rapids. So she is walking for hours and days.
At this time, her father is quite sure, that his family is dead. He only has little hope, because there has been an American boy years before, who stayed alive for a week alone in the jungle. Pépé, Suzanne´s little bird, dies on that day.
Suzanne also dreams about the American boy and this gives her more power again. Again she swims for a while and then finds a boat and a small hut. On the other morning she makes a new knife out of a piece of a branch and again digs out a lot of maggots from her skin. She thinks about taking the boat, but she doesn´t, because she never learned about boats and her mother´s voice in her head tells her to leave the boat.
As she tries to start again, she finally is found by three young Indian hunters who tell her, that she has been in the jungle for ten days now. They dig more maggots out of her flesh, wash her and give her some food. After that they take her into their boat and she falls asleep again. Now she knows, that she is safe.
When Suzanne wakes up in the hospital, she tells the doctor, that she wants to get home again. The doctor tells her, that she has to stay for a week because she is very ill. But her father is there and both have tears in their eyes, because they are sad and lucky at the same time. At last, her father has to tell her that her little bird also is dead and now, for the first time since the crash, Suzanne starts crying.
(Chris Kleusch, June 2004)
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