|Writing done by MujnaD.|
Mother always told me to write about my experiences whenever I went somewhere. She told me that I could look back and remember everything that happened, and that it would be worthwhile. So I decided to write about my trip to Canada. I barely managed to bring this journal (NOT a diary) to the ship without the guards noticing. I’m going to write about everything I can, 100% truthfully, no matter how sad or embarrassing my experience. Edit
September 15, 1914
Today I start my voyage to Canada. I’m extremely worried, what if the family I go to doesn’t like me? What if they hit me? What if they never talk to me? What if-get a grip on yourself, Arthur Fellowes. You are a 13 year old boy, no, a MAN, stop worrying.
I’m thinking about mum. She has lung sickness; I hope she gets better soon. I hope I can see her again, and get to talk to her. Ever since dad died in war, it’s been rough for the both of us. Aunt can’t take me because she already has to take care of her 8 or so children. I want to listen to mum tell me stories about King Arthur. I want her to hug me, and I want to go to the library with her. I want her to smile at me again, and I want the both of us to happily live together. Mum told me that she would pick me up, that I would see her again, and I believe her. My mum would never lie… so then why am I having doubts? Mum told me not to worry, and I had told her that I’m a man. But I just realized…..I miss mum a lot.
Stop it! I can do this. I’m named after a noble king, and I can definitely go through a small trip. What am I worrying for? This family is probably really nice. The fancy looking men from Canada told me that I would get fed well, treated well, and that I could get an education like mum wanted me to.
I’m on a big boat right now. It’s called the Queens’s She-esta. The ‘Home Children’ have to be on the lowest part of the ship. I hate how the ship moves up and down; I vomited at least 3 times in the span of an hour! If King Arthur saw me, he would be ashamed. With every passing moment, I feel worse and worse. With every lurch of the boat, I worry about mum more and more. I REALLY hope that I can see mum again. If mum were here right now, she would hug me tightly and tell me a wonderful adventure story on King Arthur. The people from the home didn’t let me take my books with me, so I can’t even read to pass time. All I could bring was a black bag to put my bible in, as well as a picture of mum. She looked so happy, and I can almost feel her hands softly resting against my shoulders.
All around me children are crying. Some are a few years older than me, and most of them are younger than me. Everybody is crying, and the oldest child on the ship complained to one of the men from Canada. That person got beaten up, slapped, and yelled at.
Going to Canada may not be as great as I thought it would. I’ll write in this journal when I can, but I feel very bad right now. My stomach really hurts, and someone said my face looked slightly green.
September 20, 1914
We’ve almost reached Canada. Thank goodness for that! These 5 days have been HORRIBLE!!!! The ship moves up and down, up and down, it never stops. I always feel bad, like I’m going to barf. The bathroom is really dirty, and lots of kids have to share the same bathroom. If you ever try to talk to one of those fancy-looking men, they’ll slap you, yell at you, and make you clean something dirty on the ship five times. Five! All of the kids have only one pair of clothes, and they’re filthy, and we have to clean a part of the ship FIVE times! It’s infuriating!
All of us are referred to as ‘Home Children.’ It sounds offensive, it’s like people are saying we aren’t human. Some of the people on the ship call us ‘boy’ or ‘girl’! We have names!!!!! I myself am named after a noble and honourable king. I feel angrier then depressed since I did at the start of the voyage. The way I’m being treated is getting on my nerves.
When somebody isn’t commanding us to do something, we’re neglected. Nobody cares about us; we’re something someone can own. The fact that we have feeling and emotions means nothing to them. If we’re hurt, nobody cares. If you’re sick, you have to take care of yourself, even if you’re a small child. Nobody helped me when I was puking, and the kids on the ship simply didn’t know what to do, since most of them are really young.
There’s not much space on the ship either. Everybody has to huddle together, and it’s really uncomfortable. We don’t have anything to do besides work and get yelled at, so it’s really boring. We can only go to the bathroom once every day. The meals are horrible. We all get the same amount; at least one thing about this voyage is fair. We get a rotten apple, a piece of hard toast, and one small cup of dirty water every day. We don’t get any refills, meaning we have to eat wisely in order not to starve. When we sleep, we get a scratchy blanket and we have to sleep on the hard wood of the ship. If we snore, or move when we sleep, we’ll get woken up and yelled at. We’re expected to be perfect robots.
This isn’t fair for us! At least soon it’ll be over; that’s something to look forward to. I’m going to miss the new friends I made though. There was this one fellow the same age as me, he liked reading too. He even thought that my name was cool! His name is Nathan. Unfortunately, after seeing that Nathan and I were ‘getting distracted’ the guards separated us. Now I feel really lonely without any friends. The one positive thing about this journey was quickly taken away from me. I hope I can see him one last time before I go to my new family. I have to go now, if the guards see me writing, they’ll get angry.
September 23, 1914
I feel miserable. I had to wait for my new ‘family’ to pick me up. I still wasn’t feeling so well after the ship, and I needed some time to cool off. But I had to stand for an entire hour for my new ‘family’ to come ‘pick me up’ like I was a new dog. A tall man came to get me, along with a tall girl who looked about my age. She had mousey brown hair in braids, with big brown eyes. I don’t know why I noticed that though. The man asked “you’re thirteen?” and I told him that I was. I wonder why he cared. He was very intimidating, especially with his gruff voice.
During the ride to my new ‘family’ the man asked me what my name was. I told him my name, but he couldn’t hear me so I spoke louder. I told him my name was Arthur, and that it was a king’s name, and then the girl looked at me like I had grown a second head. Is there something wrong with my name? I felt angry for the rest of the trip.
When I finally reached my new home, I saw a woman busily cooking food. There was an old lady as well as a girl who looked older than the one I was with before. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a little girl who looked to be about three, as well as a baby crib. The brown-haired girl started talking to the woman cooking.
The woman, who is probably the mother of the house, seemed to be angry and in a bad mood. I just can’t help think that it was me. When I got my dinner, that moody woman, who I later figured out was Mrs. Wilson, told me that I couldn’t sit with the family. Am I not part of their family? I had to sit in a corner and eat by myself. Was I always going to be eating alone as the outcast? Whenever I’m in the room will people keep staring at me, whether I’m like a science experiment, or a new farm animal, or will they just completely ignore me like I don’t even exist?
The man, whose name is Mr. Wilson, started making me do chores the day after I came. I have to take care of the cows, and a lot of other chores. When I was trying to herd the cows, the bloody cows wouldn’t listen! I was so scared; I thought they were going to attack me! I ran away from them, and the brown-haired girl saw me. She followed me to the barn and asked what I was doing. I felt my face heat up because of the embarrassment. I explained about the cows to her, and she started laughing. Laughing! At my misfortune! She explained to me how to herd the cows, and I told her about life in England. She told me her name was Sadie. I liked that name, it sounded nice and cheerful, unlike the rest of Canada. The rest of the day I spent time with her, and I forgot about all of my chores. That night Mrs. Wilson spoke really harsh words to Sadie, and seemed to be really angry at me. That isn’t fair! Mistakes will be made in life, besides; it’s my second day here, shouldn’t I have a break?!
I hate it here. After that day, Sadie was so busy with her chores so she couldn’t talk to me. I’m not strong so Mr. Wilson is really hard on me for my chores. The eldest girl and Mrs. Wilson, they both hate me. The girl and the baby are forced to ignore me like I’m some kind of disease! Grandma Wilson is nice, but she can’t change the way everybody else treats me. I hope that mum comes to pick me up soon; I can’t wait to get out of here. I’m so busy nowadays, so I don’t think I can write in this journal anymore.