What happened to the shark in Chapter II of The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss and Johann Rudolf Wyss?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter I of The Swiss Family Robinson, by Johann David Wyss and Johann Rudolf Wyss, the Robinson family has just been in a violent storm, causing the ship upon which they are traveling to run aground on a reef. The next day after the storm clears, Mr. Robinson is able to see land but has to figure out how to get his family safely ashore. He and his sons figure out how to build a raft out of wine kegs stored in the ship's hold. Soon, they leave the ship in their raft, well stocked with many provisions.

Chapter II begins their first full day on the island. After Mr. Robinson and Fritz, the eldest son of 15, explore the island some more, finding many more provisions, they build a mast to attach to their raft in order to set sail back to the ship to retrieve the animals on board they had left behind. Once done attaching the animals to the raft, they see a shark trying to attack one of the sheep. Fritz fires his gun at the shark, and the "enemy disappeared, leaving a trace of blood on the calm water." The shark does not re-emerge, so they set sail to return to the island.  When they return, they find that Mrs. Robinson has been able to make their island seem more like home, for she has fashioned a table out of a board, and set it with a "white damask tablecloth" and placed "knives, forks, spoons, and plates for each person." Their dinner was even a multicourse meal: "A tureen of good soup first appeared, followed by a capital omelette, then slices of ham; and finally some Dutch cheese, butter, and biscuits, with a bottle of the captain's Canary wine, completed the repast." However, the shark proves to not have been killed by Fritz and makes another appearance in Chapter III.

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The Swiss Family Robinson

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