The life of Polly

Polly Heather is an ordinary 13 year old Victorian girl from the country. Her family expects very much of her in the future and never listen to her ambitions. Will Polly do as her family says and stay away from the wonders of the travelling circus or will she spread her wings and embark on a journey that will change both her life and everyone she knows.


2. Loretta

The grandfather clock in the hall stiked 7:30. Time to do my daily shopping. Mam gave me her shopping list and gave me the usual rules, "Don't go talkin to no strangers, you understand, Poll'? Buy only what it says on the list and be back within the hour. That's a good lass."

My life was like a broken record, it kept on repeating. I wish I could see the wonders of the world not just stay in boring old Yorkshire in the countryside. My family always kept me back from all this excitement. They thought of me as a piece of dirt sometimes. Mable and Ezra were the apples of my mam and dad's eyes, they never looked down to them or tell them what to do. Mam told me to abide by her rules but what harm could talking to strangers do? I decided to say hello to everyone I met. Women sweetly smiled at me and gentlemen took their hat off to me. I skipped along to the market and smelled the amazing mixture of smells coming from each stall. I ran to the fish stall and smelled the powerful smell of the fishes. "You goin'a stand there all day, lass?" the man behind the counter asked.

"No sir, I'm just admiring the beautiful fish," I replied.

The man chuckled, "If you think they're beautiful you need to see doctor Cotton!"

I didn't see why he was being so horrid towards the lovely creatures. I imagined swimming alongside all of them in the sea and gazing upon the wonderous seaweed and other things. But no, they were killed and sent to market to get sold. This made me angry inside.

"You goin'a buy somethin lassie?" the man grunted.

"A kipper please, sir," I finally mumbled. The man wrapped it up in newspaper and I gave him the money and walked off to buy the rest of the stuff on mam's list.

I was getting awfully thirsty so I trudged to the public house. I forgot all about not spending money on anything but what's on the shopping list. I had tasted Father's brandy and it tasted rather nice so I asked the girl behind the counter for one. "Aren't you a little young for an old man's drink, sweet'art," she asked.

"I am much older than I look, miss," I lied.

"Sure you are," she said sarcastically. " Mind you, I'm only sixteen and I get a lotta ale 'ere. What's your name then?"

"Polly Heather," I gulped.

"Ah! Your Ezra is in my class in school!" the girl said. "I'm Loretta by the way."

I nodded, not knowing what to say next. I don't think Loretta did either.

"Here's your brandy. I'll let you have it for free seein' as we're friends now," she whispered, obviously not wanting her boss to know I'd not paid. I walked to a nearby table and sat down to enjoy my brandy. Two boys dashed in and were making a racket. "Ernie, Joseph, keep the noise down!" Loretta grumbled but was secretly giggling at their mischevious behaviour. They were about my age with dungarees on and wellington boots. They ordered to ales and plonked themselves on my table, not asking if they could.

"Hello, sweet'art," one of the said to me.

I blushed. "Errm hello," I muffled.

"What gorgeous blonde locks you have," the other boy said, fingering my hair.

"Stop it, she's my sweet'art, end of," the first boy grumbled.

"Ernie, you and Loretta are sweet'arts," the boy, persumally Joseph explained.

"No we're not! She's three years older than me!" Ernie answered.

I barely knew these boys, why were they calling me their sweetheat? Loretta came to the rescue. "Alright boys, leave Polly alone!"

"Sorry, Miss," Joseph trembled.

"Don't mind these two," Loretta said "They are just mischevious but very handsome," she looked at Ernie.

"So you are sweet'arts! I knew it!" Joseph cried. "Come 'ere lass, I'll take you 'ome."

"No thank you," I quivered but Joseph had already taken my hand and lead me out of the pub.

"See you, sweet'arts!" Joseph called to Loretta and Ernie.

I managed to say goodbye to Loretta before getting whisked out of her sight.

"Now," Joseph started, "Where do you live?" 






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