Call It Courage PDF By Armstrong Sperry

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Winner Of The Newbery Medal

Mafatu’s name means “Stout Heart” but his people call him a coward.

Ever since the sea took his mother’s life and spared his own, he has lived with deep fear.

And even though his father is the great chief of Hikueru-an Island whose sen faring people worship courage- he is terrified, and so scorned.

By the time he is 15 years old, Mafatu can bror it no longer. He must conquer his fear alone… even if it means certain death.

This classic tale of a young boy’s hidden strength has been a favorite of readers of all ages since its 1940 publication.


IT HAPPENED many years ago, before the traders and missionaries first came into the South Seas, while the Polynesians were still great in numbers and fierce of heart.

But even today the people of Hikueru sing this story in their chants and tell it over the evening fires. It is the story of Mafalu, the Boy Who Was Afraid.

They worshiped courage, those early Polynesians. The spirit which had urged them across the Pacific in their sailing canoes.

Before the dawn of recorded history, not knowing where they were going nor hearing what their late might be, still sang its song of danger in their blood.

There was only courage. A man who was afraid–what place had been in their midst and the boy Mafaru-son of Tavana Nui.

The Great Chief of Hikueru always had been afraid.

So the people drove him forth. Not by violence, but by indifference. Mafatu went out alone to face the thing he feared the most.

And the people of Hikaru still sings his story in their chants and tells it over the evening fires.

It was the sea that Mafatu feared.

He had been surrounded by it ever since he was born The thunder of it filled his cars, the crush of it upon the reef.

Day broke over a gray and dismal world.

The canoe lifted and fell idly on the glassy swells.

Mafatu looked back over his shoulder, searching the horizon for a last glimpse of Hikueru; but the atoll had vanished, as if to hide itself forever from his concern.

The matting sail slatted uselessly.

But there seemed to be no need of a sail: the little canoe was riding one of the mysterious ocean currents that flow in their courses through the length and breadth of the Pacific: the Ara Moana, Paths of the Sea, as the Ancients called them.

They were the ocean currents that had carried the Polynesian navigators from island to island in the childhood of the world. Mafatu was drifting farther and farther away from his homeland.

With wide-flapping wings Kivi rose from the bow of the canoe.

In ascending spirals the bird climbed higher and higher, until at last he was no more than a gray speck against the lighter gray of the sky.

Mafatu watched his albatross disappear and felt a desolation flood his heart. Now there was only Uri to keep him company in this hostile world of sky and sea.

Uri…. The yellow dog lay curled up in the shadow of the bow, opening one eye from time to time to look at his master. Wherever Mafatu went, Uri, too, would go.

Mafatu opened one of the green drinking nuts and tilted back his head to let the cool liquid trickle down his parched throat; more refreshing than spring water, cool on the hottest days and as sustaining as food.

The boy scooped out the gelatinous meat for Uri and the dog ate it gratefully.

The ocean current which held the canoe in its grip seemed to have quickened.

There was a wind rising, too, in little puffs and gusts.

Now the canoe keeled over under the sudden attack, while Mafatu scrambled onto the outrigger to lend his weight for ballast; then the wind dropped as suddenly as it appeared, while the canoe righted itself and the boy breathed freely once again.

He searched the skies for Kivi.

His albatross might have been one of a thousand sea birds flying against the roof of the sky, or he might have vanished utterly, leaving his friends here in solitary space The bird had led Mafatu out through the reef-passage at Hikueru into the open ocean, and now, it seemed, had deserted him.

A storm was making, moving in out of those mysterious belts, which lie north and south of the equator, the home of hurricanes.

The wind shifted a point, bringing with it a heavy squall.

Mafatu lowered the sail on the run and gripped the steering paddle with hands that showed white at the knuckles.

All around him now was a world of tumbling water, pig in the hollows greenish on the slopes.

The wind tore off the combing crests and hung the spray at the sky.

AuthorArmstrong Sperry
PDF Size210.9 KB
CategoryFiction & Novel


Call It Courage Book PDF Free Download

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