".I learnt to trap and skin and cook and build a shelter. On the blustery fens I ate toads, lizards and snakes. In the shallow silted waters of the estuaries I speared bream and eels and caught frogs and crayfish. I learnt to build a canoe made of skins stretched taut over frames of willow and, when winter came, I learnt to make skates of bone and snow shoes to bear me over the sheets of pack-ice that drifted down the flooded washes, meeting other floes, joining them, or separating to slide slowly on through the milky water, their filigree edges delicately tingling."
"Then as spring turned to summer I learnt to swathe myself against the miles of stagnant pools that were a mosquito breeding ground, but even so succumbed to the ague, a feverish state brought on by mosquito bites. All night I thrashed about in an agony of freezing cold one moment and burning heat the next, tormented by hallucinations and plagued by fits of violent, uncontrollable trembling. Cured by a herbal remedy, I learnt how to make poppy-laced tea that would control the fever long enough for me to make my way home. Perhaps most of all, I learnt how to protect my shelter with alarms that would warn me of the advent of wild beasts or even - and I knew this although it was never mentioned - enemy man."