When I awoke, it was just daylight. I was lying on my back and tried to sit up, only to find that I was stuck fast. I could not even move my head. It seemed that I was tied to the ground by hundreds of pieces of string.
Eventually, as the sun was becoming uncomfortably bright and hot, I felt a living thing move up my left leg and onto my body, closely followed by about forty more. The first creature, whatever it was, came to a halt just under my chin, and by peering downward, I found I could just make it out. To my astonishment, what did
I see but a miniature human no bigger than my hand, equipped with bow and arrow! In my amazement, I let out a loud roar, and all the creatures turned and fled back down my body, some of them falling off in their hurry to get away. They were soon back, however.
Struggling to get loose,
I finally managed to free my left arm and, by pulling violently, loosened the threads tying my hair down, so that I could turn my head a little. I tried to grab a handful of the tiny men, but they scurried off again, all yelling at once. Then one of them cried, "Tolgo phonac," and I was instantly bombarded with hundreds of minute arrows, which pricked me like so many needles and hurt terribly.
JONATHAN SWIFT'S GULLIVER abridged by Martin Jenkins. Abridgment copyright (c) 2005 by Martin Jenkins. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Excerpted from Jonathan Swift's Gulliver by Jonathan Swift. Copyright © 2010 by Jonathan Swift. Excerpted by permission of Candlewick, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.