My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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In My Side of the Mountain, how did Sam make a calendar?

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Far from civilization, Sam never knows for sure what day it is. But as he doesn't want to lose track of time of the days of the week and the seasons of the year, he makes his own low-tech calendar out of an aspen pole that he sticks in the ground.

Each day, Sam goes through the regular routine of cutting another notch into the pole. By counting these notches he's able to establish, with a fair degree of certainty, just what day it is. But for one reason or another, Sam isn't always able to do this. There are lots of other things he needs to do on a regular basis if he's to survive out in the wilderness. He's often too busy gathering nuts, or smoking venison, fish, or small game, to be able to count all the notches on his calendar, and so often doesn't know what day it is.

Later on, when Sam looks at the aspen pole he suddenly realizes that it's almost Christmas. He's sure that Bando will come, so sets about preparing a feast for him as well as making him a gift in the shape of a pair of deer-hide moccasins lined with rabbit fur.

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