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When the Sky Falls Evacuee Letter 1 by Maggie SWW

Dear Mum,
The packed lunch was much appreciated: a lovely last taste of home. Thank you for the chutney sandwiches and the mint humbugs especially. It was rather uneventful on my first ever train journey; I just sat and read my book, occasionally staring out of the window at the surprisingly green fields sweeping by, which were mostly being grazed by these ferocious looking animals that must have been cows. I was very lucky to get a window seat, as the carriage was packed – and that’s an understatement. As I felt sorry for the tiny, crying girl opposite me, (who must have been about five years old) I offered her a humbug. We chatted, then. It turns out that she – Anna – lived not far from our house on Streadham Road, and was looked after by her gran. As her clammy hand reached for mine, it reminded me of little Noah.

Clutching my suitcase in one hand and buttoning up my coat in the other, I stepped down onto the puddle-filled platform, and rushed into the station after all of the other children. From the first thirty seconds, I already like Hill. As we waited for the torrential rain to ease, the billeting officer scanned a quick register. She then lead us out of the sheltered platform and onto the road. After that, it was just a two minute walk to the village hall, where a few early villagers were waiting, prepared to pick out the children who looked the fittest, strongest, healthiest. Fortunately, I was picked around fifteen minutes after we arrived, by a kind-looking elderly man named Mr Oakapple. He walked me to his small farm on the outskirts of the village.

After we arrived at Mr Oakapple’s cottage, and he’d showed me to my room in a cosy corner in the low attic, he took me around the farmland. There are eleven hens in a shed made from decaying planks, three sheep who graze on the little paddock and the one cow – Wilma. ​Before breakfast every morning – half a slice of toast with a poached egg, or porridge- I have to make my bed, then check on the sheep, and fetch fresh eggs from the chooks.​ Wilma is milked by Mr Oakapple, but he promised that if I prove myself a ‘good little farmer’ in the next however many weeks, then he might let me have a go. The sheep – Margery, Jennie and Rosie – are marvellously tame, and Rosie is even expecting lambs in a few months!

School is alright. There is a terrifying cane, which luckily I haven’t been properly introduced to, and the other kids are decent. The other girls taught me hopscotch. For lunch, I receive a dry oatcake, some cheese and a carrot from the veg patch.

Unfortunately, I’m beginning to run out of page now, and Mr Oakapple only allows me one page.
Keep yourself and Noah safe for me.
All my love,
Elsie.

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