The burning sun beat down on Timmy. Although an occasional ocean breeze swirled by, the heat was still unbearable and drops of sweat poured down his face. He looked up as he heard a swarm of seagulls and his face brightened when he noticed thunderclouds moving in from the west. This excitement quickly crumbled when he remembered that this was his tenth day on the remote island and that his chances of survival were slim. He closed his eyes and began to reflect in silence.
Timmy was a seventeen-year-old kid from a wealthy family. His parents had a net worth of nearly three hundred million dollars, and when they passed away, their will promised to hand over the money to Timmy once he turned eighteen. Until then, Timmy had to live with his Aunt and Uncle. Little did Timmy know that there was a clause in the will that stated, “If Timmy goes missing or other unfortunate circumstances take place before he turns eighteen, the money will go to his Aunt and Uncle.” This clause was the reason why he was on that island. His cunning Aunt and Uncle told him they would go on vacation to an unknown island, and after a night on the island, they left him there alone.
Just thinking about the incident and the cunningness of his Aunt and Uncle boiled his blood and fueled his anger. As he eventually cooled down, he sensed that he was beyond hungry. Hungrily, Timmy got up and slowly walked to the small tide pools in hopes of finding an easy meal. Luckily for him, there were a few scaly red crabs. Using the small contraption he made using wood and some palm leaves, he caught the crabs and cooked them over the fire he started in the cave. Although the food was clearly not enough, his fear of large bodies of water and the darkness of the jungle kept him back from exploring and finding food in either of those places. However, tonight, as he sat inside the cold, desolate cave, he promised himself that he would go into the jungle the next day at all costs. He knew that there was no other way he would survive.
Timmy woke up early the next morning to mentally prepare for his expedition. As usual, he almost talked himself out of going, but the idea that there could be people in the deeper parts of the island practically instantly erased his fear and made him a bit excited. With his spear in hand, he set out on – arguably – the most critical endeavor of his life.
Timmy grew tired of walking after an hour and decided to sit down and take a break. With the wind howling, the trees seemed to be breathing, and under the crisp, fresh dawn air, the birds gave the jungle a melodious voice. In addition, the chirps of the small bush crickets echoed through the cedarwoods, and the sounds of the ocean pounding the seashore traveled into even the deepest of locations. The forest seemed to have a life of its own. Timmy never thought that nature could have been beautiful in such non-visual ways. Thinking about the magnificence of nature, he continued to walk until he found a small creek. Assuming that this was the same creek that originated near his cave, Timmy decided to follow the stream so that he could easily find his way back afterward. Something felt wrong about the creek, but Timmy was too tired to think about the subject and just kept walking along blindly.
With the tireless Sun pounding heat waves through the island, Timmy stopped when he noticed that the Sun was directly above him. Thoughts and ideas raced through his mind as he realized that it was midday. Scared of getting lost and having to spend the night in the jungle, he decided that it would be best to go back to the seashore and his cave. His fists raged in anger because he couldn’t find anything and didn’t achieve his goal of getting to the other end of the island. He kept his head down and followed the creek back.
Timmy couldn’t express himself. His legs felt like noodles as he continued walking with a raging hunger in his stomach. He desperately wanted to go back to his cave and sleep, but even after what felt like six hours, Timmy was still following the creek, and the cave was nowhere to be found. Doubt began to grow in his mind and made him question whether he went the wrong way. When the sun went down, and the brisk ocean breeze and the bright moon began to take over, his doubt was confirmed. Tears of fear were about to flood out of his eyes as thoughts of death swirled in his mind, but before they did, what he saw left him in shock.
Now tears of happiness began to pour out. With the little energy that he had, Timmy started to jump in joy and happiness. He couldn’t believe his eyes and began to run even as he kept tumbling over the intricately tied mangrove tree roots. His hands were trembling and shaking uncontrollably, as he touched the curved wood at the shore. Before he could move any further, his tiredness overtook him, and Timmy went to sleep.
The echoes of the seagull calls sent shockwaves through Timmy’s ears as the morning sun shone on his face. Vague memories flashed through his eyes, but once he collected himself, Timmy rose up and trudged into the small boat he had found the night before on the shore. He gathered all of his energy and pushed the boat into the water and jumped back in with his spear in hand. Although happy, he was scared beyond words as the boat drifted into the harmonious water. This fear was because Timmy did not know how to swim and always had been terrified of large bodies of water. As he realized that this was a now or never moment, he focused his might onto vigorously paddling the boat toward the visible island on the east horizon.
Eventually, the darkness of night took over, and although tired, hungry, and sleep deprived, he kept paddling because he knew that if he stopped, the boat would drift away. The ocean waves continued to pound against the boat’s hull, and the wind roared against Timmy’s face, making it unbearable to open his eyes. Before he knew it, the boat made a complete turn and was going northwest. Accepting his fate and too tired to compete against the forces of nature, Timmy let go of the paddle and collapsed into the boat.
“Waka waka wu wu. Waka waka wa wa. Wuku wuku wa wa. Wuku wuku wu wu,” chanted the group of men and children.
Timmy’s eyes opened, his heart pounded, and his ears vibrated to the familiar human voice. He couldn’t believe it. As he was examining his surroundings and analyzing a dozen islanders and his boat docked on the nearby shore, an elder came to him with food and whispered, “Taumamafa i lenei meaai ma inu vai.” Timmy had no idea what it meant, but he assumed it meant to eat the food, which he eagerly grabbed and consumed.
Timmy lived on that remote Pacific island with the natives for nearly eight years before the US Navy found him.