Why did Sam choose the big tree as his home, and how did he make it comfortable?
The text of My Side of the Mountain is very clear about the main reason that Sam was first attracted to the big hemlock tree for his home. We read, "...I wanted a house that could not be seen. People would want to take me back where I belonged if they found me." At first he didn't know what kind of home it would be, but as he studied the tree, he noticed that it could be hollowed out to make a cozy, comfortable home and hiding place. Additional evidence that suggests Sam was proud of his hiding place can be found at the beginning of the book where Sam proudly writes, "I am on a mountain in a tree home that people have passed without knowing that I am here."
Sam discusses many ways in which he makes his home comfortable. Look at the second paragraph in the first chapter where he lists a deerskin covered bed and a small chimney. As we read the rest of the first chapter we find that he has a made a lamp for himself using a turtle shell, deer fat, and a strip of cloth from his old city trousers. As the story unfolds Sam writes more details about some of the ways in which he made his home in the big hemlock tree more comfortable. Read about how Sam got a door for his home in the chapter titled "How a Door Came to Me" and read about how he went about making a chimney to keep him warm during the cold snowy Catskill winter in the chapter titled "In Which The Autumn Provides Food and Loneliness."