Category Archives: Fire on the Ice

Fire on the Ice

By Andrew Wagner-Chazalon

He worked slowly and carefully, keenly aware of his danger. Gradually, as the flame grew stronger, he increased the size of the twigs with which he fed it. He squatted in the snow, pulling the twigs out from their entanglement in the brush and feeding directly to the flame. He knew there must be no failure.

Jack London, To Build A Fire

In Jack London’s 1908 story, an unnamed man is hiking through the Yukon bush alone when he falls through the ice and soaks his feet. It’s 75 degrees below zero, and he knows he has to build a fire or die…

What happens next?