What are the first things Mafatu does when he wakes up and sits up in Chapter 3 of Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry?
To some extent, the answer to this question depends on what you mean by the word “does.” There is one answer if you say that “does” refers only to physical actions and another answer if you say that “does” involves mental actions as well. In other words, if Mafatu realizes something or notices something, are those actions that he is doing?
It is on p. 35 of Call It Courage that Mafatu returns to consciousness on the beach of the island. He is not able to finally sit up until p. 36. Once he sits up, his first action (if mental processes are actions) is to remember that he banged his right leg against coral when his canoe hit the reef. His second action is to notice that his leg is cut and his third action is to think that he needs to deal with it since “coral wounds were poisonous.”
If actions require physical movement, the first thing that Mafatu does is “plunge[d] his face into the pool and [drink] deeply.” He must have been sitting next to this pool of fresh water because he does not have to stand up to get to the water. After that, his next action is to lie down again.
Mafatu then goes on to think a great deal about where he is and what he needs to do to survive. He looks around to take stock of the island where he has found himself. However, he does not actual do anything more that is physical until p. 38, where he stands up, gets some limes, and treats the coral wound on his leg.
So, most of what happens on these pages is mental. Mafatu figures out what his physical condition is. He looks around him to see what he can learn about the island. He thinks about the things that he will need to do in order to survive. There is very little physical action until p. 38 when he stands up, treats his leg, and starts to explore.