Two Little Savages
The Adventures of Two Boys Who Lived as American Indians
Written and Illustrated by Ernest Thompson Seton; Abridged with Forewords by Olivia and Henry Lewis
In 1902, Ernest Thompson Seton founded a group called the Woodcraft Indians, whose young members frolicked in war bonnets and camped out in tepees in order to release their “animal energy” and teach them to “think Indian.” He went on to become one of the founding pioneers of the Boy Scouts of America. Although written in the third person, Two Little “Savages” records Seton's adventures in the woods of Ontario in the summer of 1876, when he and a friend developed games that were later incorporated in Boy Scout rituals still in use today. The book is generously illustrated with over 300 of Seton’s own detailed drawings.
This is one of the great classics of nature and boyhood and presents a vast range of woodlore in the most palatable of forms—a genuinely delightful story. The story concerns two farm boys who build a teepee in the woods and persuade the grownups to let them live in it for a month. The exciting adventures that befall them during their stay in the woods are just the sort of thing that will keep a young reader enthralled and will stimulate the imagination at every turn.
The boys learn how to: prepare their own food, build a fire without matches, use an axe expertly, make a bed out of boughs, “smudge” mosquitoes, get clear water from a muddy pond, build a dam, know the stars, find their way when they get lost, tell the direction of the wind, blaze a trail, distinguish animal tracks, protect themselves from wild animals, and use Indian signals. They also make moccasins, bows and arrows, Indian drums and war bonnets. They discover how to identify the trees and plants and learn all about the habits of various birds and animals including how they get their food, who their enemies are and how they protect themselves from them.
About the Author
Ernest Thompson Seton (1860–1946) was a big man who was known to emit unexpected wolf howls or moose calls in public, and espoused the restitution of the Great Plains to the Indians. He was the author of over seven dozen books, including Wild Animals I Have Known.
Olivia and Henry Lewis, who abridged the book and wrote the forewords, are sister and brother, and twins. They are just beginning high school in Charlottesville, Virginia.