Almost Paradise

Prompt: Five Items
A classic question, revisited: what are the five items you must have on a deserted island?

baby goat kid

My desert island is somewhere near Tahiti. Have you been to Tahiti? It is paradise, just saying. Unlike Australia, for example, there are no deadly reptiles or insects. Fish and shellfish are abundant. Tahitian people are among the most generous and gentle I have ever met.

But there will be no other people on this island. So the first item on my list will be a little family of goats. Or sheep. They can provide companionship while also supplying milk and cheese. Have you seen baby goats (kids) and baby sheep (lambs)? Who needs people? Plus, I won’t eat them, unless things become truly desperate, which would probably feel like cannibalism. Can you imagine Tom Hanks eviscerating Wilson to make a pair of gloves? A baby goat is way cuter and warmer than a basketball.

How do Tahitians make flour? I would need to look into this. I believe they grind root vegetables, then mix them with other native-grown ingredients, like coconut. It would be nice to have bread, to go with the cheese and milk, and even better if I didn’t have to use up one of my five allowable items, which I am not doing.

Lemon trees. If I’m eating fish daily, while preventing scurvy, lemons seem ideal. Plus they make good dressing for greens and smell wonderful. But did you know they can also be used to soothe a sore throat, provide potassium in your diet and help reduce the likelihood of high blood pressure and kidney stones? You can also use lemon juice as an insect repellent, an antihistamine, pain-reliever, face cleanser, disinfectant, and mildew eliminator.

I thought of planting some olive trees, since I am a fan of olive oil (and olives) but I think I will rely on coconuts and coconut oil. After all, this particular paradise is not Tuscany.

Next, how do I practically read and write, with no renewable resources? Sadly, I think I will have to limit my reading to, say, a box of books, the titles of which could be the subject of another prompt. As for writing, I would need notebooks, and lots of them, and lots of pencils and erasers. Maybe a box of those too.

While I’m hauling plants from the wreckage, I’ll introduce some hardy grape varieties to my island. It will take a long time to produce a glass of wine, but I’m sure it will be worth the wait, and effort. That makes five items. Santé!


  1. Goat family
  2. Lemon trees
  3. Box of books
  4. Box of notebooks
  5. Grape plants