Young Readers League 2019 “Hidden History” Writing Contest
(Category 1: ages 8-11)
“The English Men”
by Ishbel Tyler
Summary: A grandmother recalls a night when she overhears unwanted visitors at their village.
“It all started when mama told me to go to the forest and fill a basket with acorns so she could
make some bread to go with the deer we were about to have for dinner,” grandma said as her sparkling blue eyes gazed down at me. “I walked slowly to the forest, noticing every sound and every small bit of movement, just how papa had taught me. But I wasn’t listening for animals, oh no, I was listening for voices. The English men’s voices.
“You see little one there had been whispers at night, whispers that said, The elder saw the English or We should prepare to attack.
“I was curious and wanted to find out if it was true, so on that day many years ago, I was ten times more observant than I usually was during the hunt. I saw nothing on the way there but when I came back with my basket full of beautiful brown acorns, I heard something, English voices. I followed the sound and there right in front of me were the men building their cozy log cabins and whistling cheery tunes. I turned around and as quietly as I could, I ran back to the village. I told mama what I saw and she reported to the chief. The chief called a meeting to explain what was happening. He said we could either fight or live at peace. We decided to live at peace, but that didn’t happen. There were fights over food, land and the riches. But then one day, after three long years, it stopped. We went to the place where they had settled and it was abandoned. It was like they had vanished.”
“But where did they go, grandma?” I asked.
“No one knows little one.”