Wednesday's Words on a Friday

 The original Words for Wednesday was begun by Delores and eventually taken over by a moveable feast of participants when Delores had computer troubles. Sadly, Delores has now closed her blog forever due to other problems.

The aim of the words is to encourage us to write. A story, a poem, whatever comes to mind.

If you are posting an entry on your own blog, please let us know so we can come along to read it and add a few encouraging words.

This month the words/prompts are supplied by Hilary Melton-Butcher and can be found here.

This week's words/prompts are: 

1. watchful 

2. laggard 

3. pudding 

4. mulberry 

5. bark 


1. promenade 

2. vineyard 

3. allotment 

4. wisdom 

5. tenth 

and a bonus set: 

1. life 

2. borrow 

3. wily 

4. ochre 

5. brook

Here is my story:

Under the watchful eyes of Mrs Borthwick, the young convicts, orphans most of them, walked across the promenade and climbed onto the wagon taking them to the vineyard, where they would pick grapes to be made into wine for the wealthy. "Come on you laggards! Keep up, get in the wagon now," she shouted at the smallest two, barely ten years old and sent out to this wide ochre land called Australia for some misdemeanor or other.

They were allowed one drink of water each, then given baskets that must be filled by lunchtime, four hours away, by the look of the sun, thought Harry, plenty of time, no need to be rushing. The boys set to work, one on each side of a long stretch of vines, plucking bunches and talking. 

"Wot ya out 'ere for then?" said Edward. "Murder," said Harry. "Cor blimey!" said Edward, "ya 'ere for life then!" "That's for sure," said Harry. "Wasn't intentional though." "How come ya talk so posh?" said Edward. "Ya don't sound like the rest of us." "I used to take lessons with the Master's son, Jonathon, Mum arranged it, said it was my right, since the Master was my father too. Scullery maid my mum was. Then one day the Master was killed by a runaway horse and carriage and the Mistress of the house had us out on the street before his body was even in the ground."

"Masters might think they run the 'ouse, but it's the Mistress really," said Edward. "Go on then, wot about this murder?" 'We'd been on the streets for a while, nothing to eat for days, then I stole a black pudding off the butcher's stall at the market. He chased after me so I hit him with it. How was I to know he would drop dead?" Edward's mouth hung open at the story and Harry quickly reminded him they were supposed to be picking, so they moved on a bit in silence. 

Then Harry asked Edward what he was sent out for. "Nuthin' really," said Edward. "We was livin' on the streets too and one day I woke up and me Mum had died in the night. No one knew what to do with me, so a policeman said "Send 'im on the ship with the other boys," so 'ere I am." 

When they reached the end of their grapevine line, a bell was clanged and they all trudged back to the beginning with their baskets of grapes. Mrs. Borthwick told them all to "wash yer filthy 'ands" before handing out wrapped parcels with a sandwich in each and sending them across to the next field to eat their lunch under the fruit trees. "any fruit that's fell on the ground is alright to eat," she told them. Harry and Edward sat near the brook that ran through the orchard, leaning back against the bark of a mulberry tree. "Life isn't really life is it?" asked Harry. "Nah, I think it just means ya do ya time, but then ya can't go 'ome even if ya free," said Edward. 

"What will you do when your time is up?" said Harry. "Dunno," said Edward. "Be sixteen by then, 'ave to find a job and a place to live." "Maybe we can find something together," said Harry. "Got any ideas?" said Edward. "I have been thinking," said Harry. "First get a job in town and learn a bit more spelling and arithmetic, then try to save some money." "We won't get paid more'n a penny or two," said Edward. "Might get more because we have reading and writing," said Harry. "We can save some money and maybe get an allotment somewhere, build a hut and grow things that people want, like fruit and potatoes." 

"Ya must 'ave what they calls wisdom," said Edward. "I'd a never thought of somethin' like that." As the bell clanged again, they got up and went back to the vineyard with the rest of the boys. "Anyway," said Edward, "I don't got no readin' and writin'."  Harry said, "I can teach you, we just need to borrow a book from somewhere or someone." "maybe steal one," said the wily Edward.


  1. That was an amusing take on those words. I sure hope those two make it big together.

    1. Charlotte; thank you. They will have some struggles, but things work out for them in the end.

  2. I hope they do find a new (and better) life together.

    1. Elephant's Child; I'm sure they will eventually. Early Australia was a harsh land for convicts.

  3. Wow, just little guys. I am glad at least they have eachother and hope they reach that dream.

    1. Arkansas Patti; in the very early days of settlement, many young children were sent on the convict ships from England to Australia. I hope they reach their dream too. Knowing how to read and write helps a lot, many back then were uneducated.

  4. Replies
    1. Margaret D; thank you. don't eat too much chocolate now.

  5. Being sent to Australia was a rough start for many, but i do hope these two do well.

    1. messymimi; a very rough start, but enough of them did well I guess, then future voluntary immigrants arrived and here we are.

  6. Whilst reading I "watched" a docu on WA and sure had to grin about your typical, lovely accent. Miss it. Thank you.

    What a sad story.
    You know. I have a penny RIGHT HERE.
    Georgivs VI D:G:BR: OMN: REX F:D:IND:IMP.

    From 1948, with a roo in front.
    A pressie I got in Silverton, post to come some time.

    Don´t steal... Ask for it, right? And never give up. Sad, good story.

    1. Iris Flavia; the accent is funny, but not many speak like that now. I have many pennies, all with the roo on the front, I have a few of all the old, pre-decimal coins and some of the paper money too.

    2. You are right. My Perth friends come from Africa, Scotland, Portugal... just one was born and still lives in Perth and he is rather hard to understand. Another is actually from Victoria and I hear no accent. Yet they certainly have the words like arvo, brolly etc, I had to learn the "funny" way :-)
      Seems like those pennies are nothing, yet to me they are special, a post is to come sometime.

  7. At least they didn't have to stomp the grapes, too! Though those two might have enjoyed such a task.


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