By: Tahney F
Australia, Grade: 8
Dear Journal 1st of September 1931
My name is Alana Wolfe and you are my very first journal of my ‘Wretched Years’. You see, things aren’t going too well. My parents lost their thriving business, which resulted in us losing our wealth, and then that eventually resulted in losing our beloved home. THAT resulted in living in whatever and wherever we can find for the night.
It is very hard to provide for us four. Father works hard to find absolutely anything to feed us: my and dear baby Henry’s bellies, even if it means he and Mother going hungry. Mother has gone from young and carefree in the last year of turmoil to an old, sorrowful looking lady with immense bags underneath her eyes. She struggles desperately each day to find work to provide an income, but all in vein. Each day she returns empty-handed and on the upmost rare occasion a penny or two for running a small errand. During the day I tow my eighteen month old younger brother around New York City begging for food or money. We have all grown so skinny that, as Mother says, all we are is “skin and bones”.
This might make you ask, dear journal, “Little Alana, if you cannot afford food, or shelter, then what is it that you using to record down these dismal words, for surely you cannot afford pencil and paper?”
With great difficulty I am using old and sparse coal to write down all this on newspaper I found in the street. I begged and begged mother and father to let me keep it and not to burn it for warmth. I promised I would work extra hard to find more fuel for fire. I knew if I did not find a way to express my misery and forlornness, in a journal or such, I would surely die of depression. I explained this to Mother and Father. Their eyes were sympathising. Yes, they said, but only one sheet a week. I agreed to this. It would be very selfish of me to let us freeze to death.
So this is me, Alana Wolfe, eleven years of age, recording down my woes and joys (be they ever so few) whenever I find the rare scrap of a newspaper to write it down on (on my weekly ration, of couse.)
(I need to close this entry now because this piece of paper must last me the entire week, and I have used far too much already)
Until next time,