If you went near the edge of the chalk pit the ground would give way.
And so it does, and Barney falls through the rubbish and creepers that fill the bottom of the dump and into someone's home.
There was a pile of bracken and newspapers that looked as if it were used for a bed. The place looked as if it had never been given a tidy-up.
'I wish I lived here,' said Barney.
And whose home is it? Why Stig's of course.
I read this book many times when I was young, and although it says quite plainly that Stig is a caveman he always seemed more of a cave boy to me. Edward Ardizzone's pictures certainly give quite a youthful impression. Well, they did to me, anyway.
I still feel in my bones that Stig is quite young because, although Stig of the Dump is a story of discovery and adventure, above all it's one of friendship.
The thing is, if you can be friends with a caveman then surely you can be friends with anyone. Even, possibly, with really rough boys like the Snargets.
Word To Use Today: dump. This word probably comes from Scandinavia. There's a Norwegian word dumpa which means to fall suddenly. There's also a Middle Low German word dumpeln which means to duck.