Chapter 22 Summary

The family cow gives birth to a male calf, and the father must decide who will care for him. All the other animals have been assigned. Ernest trains his monkey. Jack raises the buffalo calf and a jackal cub. Fritz watches over the onager. In addition to all of Elizabeth's tasks is the care of Grizzle, the donkey. The father cares for the others.

The only member of the family without an animal is the youngest boy, Franz. The father asks Franz if he is up to the task. The boy is ecstatic. Franz had heard about a boy who raised a calf, and now he wants to try it. He hopes that if he teaches the calf to obey him while it is young, he will be able to ride it when the calf reaches full size, just like the boy in the story.

The father tells Franz to train the animal well so that it becomes gentle and obedient. If Franz is successful, he might be allowed to ride it. However, the father also warns that the calf will grow and be at his fullest strength faster than the boy will. Franz decides to call the calf Grumble because he makes a low rumbling sound. Jack laughs when he hears the name. Jack has named his buffalo Storm, which he believes is more majestic. One day, Jack tells Franz, when they are both riding their animals, their mother will say, oh, look, here comes Jack on Storm. And here comes Franz on Grumble. The difference will make everyone laugh, Jack claims.

Later, as the father makes a new carpet for the salt-cave house at Tentholm, he realizes that the next day will mark one year since the shipwreck. They not only survived all that time, the father realizes, but are flourishing. For this, the father feels both gratitude and humility. He plans to celebrate the day as one of thanksgiving.

Without relating his plans, the father prepares a special event. Throughout the day, he supervises a detailed cleanup and reorganization of the outside and inside of Tentholm, where they first landed. That night at the dinner table, the father announces the celebration. Everyone is surprised. Elizabeth even challenges her husband's calculation. To prove himself, the father shows his wife his journal, in which he has written at least once a week since their arrival. The next day marks exactly one year.