Surviving on the Island: Chapter 26

Plant with large white flowers and green leaves.
Toluache/toloache (Datura wrightii), also known as sacred datura and Jimson weed. NPS photo.

In the spring, Karana decides to catch a wild dog that looks like Rontu. She is certain that he is Rontu’s son.

Karana makes snares with branches and baits them with fish, hoping to catch the dog. The snares catch other wild dogs, but not the one she wants.

Karana also captures a fox and takes it home. She finds that the fox eats her stored food whenever she is away, so she releases it.

Karana puts toluache weed in the pool where the dogs drink, hoping it will make the dogs sleepy. The dogs drink the weed-tainted water, but are not affected by it. She then puts xuchal in the drinking water—a mixture of ground seashells and wild tobacco (tobacco weed).

Once the dogs drink the water with xuchal, they fall asleep and Karana carries the dog she calls Rontu-Aru, or son of Rontu, back to her house..

Soon, Karana is able to tame Rontu-Aru and they enjoy fishing and visiting Tall Rock in the canoe.

Last updated: June 25, 2018