Copyright© 2015 by maypop
Jim woke up the next morning. He looked at the door and bulkhead, "Mom! Dad!" he screamed. He heard no answer. He searched and found a hammer and beat on the door! He then put his ear to the door and listened for a sound. He did this again and again, finally giving up. He found his Bible and read it for a long time. He got on his knees and prayed for strength to cope with the situation he was in. He prayed for strength to stand up to the sounds he heard last night. He prayed for the loneliness that was gripping him for the loss of his parents.
It seemed Jim was in for a whole new life, whether he wanted it or not. After he prayed, Jim looked around the plane. He found some Spam, mayonnaise, and bread and made a sandwich. Granted, it wasn't bacon and eggs, but it was food. He bowed and gave thanks for his food.
After he had eaten, he found the rifle and shells. He placed the rifle by the big door behind the wing and opened it so he could look out. The wing was still intact. It had been like a mower blade. The small bushes were all in front of the wing. That was why he could see nothing but the bushes when he looked yesterday. He picked the rifle up and looked out and around for any dangerous animals that might be in close proximity of the plane. Scores of sounds were around him! When he looked up, he could see that even if they sent planes to look for them, this plane was under the trees enough it could not be seen from the air. He saw monkeys jumping everywhere! He wondered if they were making the noises he heard last night. He put the steps down and stepped out onto the ground, still holding the rifle. The ground was sandy and soft, but not mushy. He looked back from which the plane had come. He saw it had moved up one hundred fifty feet up a slight embankment from the river. The river looked about the size of the Mississippi River. It had pulled the foliage and bushes out of the ground leaving a smooth path made by the wings almost as if a bulldozer had done it. Jim walked down to the river. He saw a big trench where the fuselage of the plane had hit. This told him that the mud and sand had literally filled the cockpit burying them as if it were a grave.
He tried to take his mind off things by looking at the river. To him, it looked to be at least 200 feet wide. It looked very shallow and seemed to move very slowly by Jim. The water was dark, but he could see the water was about three feet deep.
Suddenly, the same noise he had heard the last night came from up the river. Chills ran down his back! The hair stood up on his arms. He fell to the ground, holding his rifle, and looked up the river. "Oh, God! Please protect me." He saw a monkey with his mouth open as he hollered.
He started laughing out loud! How could that sound come out of such a little animal? When he heard that sound, he expected to see a dinosaur, or alien, or just something other than a monkey!
He got up and started looking around again. He was beginning to get used to the fact that maybe it was not as dangerous as he first thought. Then, he heard a bird chirping, "Toot! Toot!" He looked up and saw one of the prettiest color birds he had ever seen! He eased back toward the door to the plane, laid the rifle down by the steps, and went inside. He found the barrel of corn his mother had demanded be taken to feed the birds and chickens. Scooping up some of the corn in his hands, he placed it in a pail.
Jim went back outside and sat down a few feet away from the tree where the bird was perched on a limb. He took some corn and threw a small handful at the trunk of the tree. He waited patiently, not moving, afraid of scaring him away.
The bird was a Mealy Parrot. They have a deep voice and can pick up human voices easily. The parrot looked at the corn at the base of the tree. He turned his head from side to side as if to see with each eye. "Toot! Toot!" the parrot said, as though to say, "You won't hurt me, will you?"
"Come on, little fellow, I won't hurt you," whispered Jim.
"Toot! Toot!" the parrot said. Then, he hopped down and began pecking at the corn. When he had finished the corn, he looked at Jim.
Jim tossed a few grains of corn between him and the parrot. "Come on, little fellow," whispered Jim.
The parrot eyeballed the corn. He hopped to the first kernel and pecked at it. Jim started dropping kernels closer and closer until the parrot hopped the rest of the way and started pecking the corn from his hand. Jim eased one finger to the parrot's breast and he hopped up on it. Very gently, Jim eased his hand up close to his face. They looked at each other for a moment or two. Very slowly Jim raised his other hand up to pet the parrot. A few pets was all it took and they were friends for life. He raised his fingers up to his shoulder. "Perch yourself on my shoulder. That's it. I will call you Perch."
"Perch," answered Perch in a deep voice.
"Yes, that is your name – Perch." Jim laughed for the first time since the crash.
"Hi, Perch," said Jim.
"Hi," said Perch.
Jim started to walk around the area looking at all the wildlife and plants. Perch seemed to be content to ride on his shoulder. High up in the trees, he could see Spider Monkeys jumping and chattering. He knew they were Spider Monkeys because he had seen them on the street of Jacksonville with a little man and his music box.
Suddenly, it started to rain. Jim hurried back to the plane with Perch still on his shoulder. Once inside the plane, Jim looked back outside. Never had he seen it rain like it was coming down. The drops were at least an inch thick. He then unpacked the small one of two cages his mother had insisted they pack for birds she might be able to catch. She was fond of birds, too. While Jim put the cage together with the pig rings his father insisted would do great to put the cages together. Tears welled up in his eyes.
He could almost hear his mom say, "We might catch a pretty parrot and we need a cage for him. We might need a big cage for chickens, when people sell them to us."
He set up the cage. After building a swing inside, Jim put his finger up to his shoulder. Perch climbed on. He then put his finger to the door of the cage. Perch hopped in. Perch then hopped on the swing and seemed to make himself right at home. Jim got the cup for the cage and went to the door, catching some rainwater from the edge of the door, he placed it in the cage for Perch.
Jim decided it was time to start thinking about how he was going to get out of this rain forest. He knew there was no way to walk out. He looked over the materials in the plane. He decided to build a raft that would float down the river. He had learned in school that all rivers eventually end up in the ocean.
But, suddenly, he realized he needed to prepare for the night. It would take him a while. Last night had been so dark and scary he did not want to go through that again! He got the folding table his father was going to use for a desk and opening the legs, he set it up. He took a folding chair and set it at the table. He dug through the boxes and found a table lamp his mother had packed. He then got the extension cord and plugged the light in. He unpacked the generator and put the wheels on it. He rolled it to one of the fifty-five gallon drums of kerosene and one of gas. He sat down beside it to read the instructions.
The new 1930 scientific marvel
DELCO WARNING: Do not run without starter battery
Battery has to be connected for the generator to work properly
If you run any length of time without battery connected, generator will burn out internally
Connect? to? and + to + as shown on cables and battery
Connect cable to bolt on starter
Make sure bolts are tight before starting engine
Fill tanks with fuel marked on tank
Gas for starting engine
Kerosene is to run after warmed up
Turn fuel switch to gasoline and pull choke
Push starter button to start engine
When engine starts coughing and bogging down, push choke in
After engine warms up for 1 minute, turn fuel switch to kerosene
DELCO WARNING: DO NOT RUN INDOORS
EXHAUST FUMES ARE DANGEROUS
Then, he got the pump out and filled the tank marked "kerosene". Next, he filled the tank marked "gasoline". Jim decided he would put the generator in the bathroom. He took the hammer into the bathroom and broke the window to the outside. The generator weighed about one hundred fifty pounds. Giving it all he had, he pushed the generator into the bathroom, so the fumes would go outside. He pulled the choke and then pushed the starter button. It turned over several times, and then fired off. He watched it run. In a few moments, it started to choke. He pushed the choke in. He watched it run for a minute or two. He then turned the switch to "kerosene" and it continued to run smoothly. He plugged the extension cord into the generator. He walked over to the light and turned it on. Wow! It worked! Since it was early, he cut the light back off and walked back and cut off the engine, saving fuel.
He then started digging into some more boxes. He found a can of Red Seal Peanut Butter and some of his mother's bread. He dug a little further and found some of his grandmother's grape jelly. He wouldn't have the bread long so he decided to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
"Hi," said Perch.
"Oh, you're hungry, too," said Jim. He got some corn to feed Perch.
"Thank you," he said as he put the corn in Perch's cage. Perch didn't say anything. He seemed too busy to talk because he immediately started pecking at the corn.