How did Attean help Matt learn new things about survival in the forrest in Sign of the Beaver? Why would these be helpful to Matt?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The first survival skill Attean teaches Matt is how to snare rabbit and other small game.  He creates a simple noose out of roots and arranges it on a stand of forked saplings.  Attached to the noose is a stick, that will get tangled in the bushes when the creature is caught by the noose, preventing it from getting it away until the hunter can come and kill it with a rock.  With this simple device made from easily found materials, Matt will be able to provide his own meat, without the aid of firearms and ammunition (Chapter 9).

Attean then shows Matt how to carve his own fishhooks out of twigs.  The hook breaks easily, but can also be easily replaced.  Never again will  Matt have to worry about losing a hook when he fishes.  Attean also shows Matt how to start a fire by striking certain quartz-filled stones with his knife.  Matt had known how to do that with a flint, but had not realized that "a common stone", more easily accessible, would do the job as well (Chapter 10).

A very valuable lesson Attean teaches Matt is how to leave signs so that he will never get lost in the woods.  As in all things, Attean shows Matt the Indian way, leaving small, inobtrusive markers like broken branches or misplaced stones along any path they take (Chapter 11).  Attean also shows Matt how to craft a strong, accurate bow, which Matt can use for hunting and protection in place of the firearm stolen by Ben (Chapter 12).

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial