What two animals is Phillip afraid of in Theodore Taylor's book The Cay?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In Chapter 8 of Theodore Taylor's The Cay, Timothy and Phillip begin settling on their island. After Timothy spends a few hours building a hut for them to sleep in, he announces that he is going to go fish on the reef for langosta, a type of lobster native to the Caribbean, for them to eat. Phillip feels panicked and begs Timothy to take him along, not wanting to left alone again like he had been when Timothy had gone off on his own to explore the island in the previous chapter. However, not knowing what dangers were on the reef, Timothy refuses, saying Phillip would be safer waiting.

While Phillip waits, he feels petrified by every single noise he hears due to his blindness. He recognizes the sound of palm fronds rattling in the breeze and hears "other noises from the underbrush" he couldn't identify but was sure the noises were not being made by Stew Cat. Feeling frightened makes him think of every possible danger, which is when he thinks of the two animals he is most afraid of--snakes and scorpions. He knows that snakes can be dangerous because they can be poisonous, whereas scorpions, which are "on most Caribbean islands," are deadly (p. 65).

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