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The Cay

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in The Cay and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"Long Trip," "Sea Calm," "Death of an Old Seaman" by Langston Hughes
(from Collected Poems, © 1994)
Summary: Three poems capture the haunting nature of the sea. "Long Trip" describes its monotony and its vastness, and "Sea Calm" describes its foreboding stillness. "Death of an Old Seaman" tells of an old sailor's love of the sea.

Excerpts from Survive the Savage Sea by Dougal Robertson
Summary: Five excerpts from this true heroic adventure story show a family stranded in the Pacific after their schooner is attacked and sunk by killer whales.

"The Shark" by John Ciardi
(from Fast and Slow, © 1975)
Summary: This light-hearted poem reflects upon the object of the shark's single-minded pursuit: dinner!

Excerpt from The Killer Storms by Gary Jennings, © 1970
Summary: This excerpt tells of the hurricane throughout human history. Named for the Caribbean god Hurak'n, this storm has puzzled and thwarted explorers since prehistory. Native Americans, Columbus's sailors, modern navies and even the American space program have all had to reckon with this massive power.

"Colin's Island" by Lynn Joseph
(from The Mermaid's Twin Sister: More Stories From Trinidad, © 1994)
Summary: A Caribbean storyteller shares a Trinidadian legend about a boy who prays for rain and flowers. He finally turns to the sea, begging for a share in its treasures. When the sea responds, he must decide for himself which of the sea's treasures is most precious—its natural beauty or its wealth–producing oil.