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I Didn't Belong: Chapter Four - The Forever Day

...Cold, scared, hungry and all alone. Six years old
no-one to turn to for help, as I was afraid that no
matter who I turned to they would take me to the police
and they would lock me up...

Ronnie Cook, the son of a violent and abusive Gypsy father, finds himelf alone in the world at the age of six.

Ronnie's vivid account of his journey from darkness into light will change the way you think about your life. Follow it week by week in Open Writing. Click on I Didn't Belong in the menu on this page to read earlier chapters.

And do buy Ronnie's book. It is available from www.amazon.co.uk Type I Didn't Belong in the Amazon search box.

Cold, scared, hungry and all alone. Six years old
no-one to turn to for help, as I was afraid that no
matter who I turned to they would take me to the police
and they would lock me up or they would feel it
their duty to return me to the site. Even worse,
they might take me to the baby snatchers (the
Social Services) and I would never see my Mum or
my family again.

So I headed for the sound of the
traffic and soon found I was on a road to Bawtry.
So I made my way there. Bawtry is a small town,
well just like a village. I had a scout around and
found a garden with a greenhouse, I found a way in
and bingo! Tomatoes, food!.

As I was helping myself
to this man's hard work and labour of love, the
door opened and the man called me all the names
you would expect to be called, and more. Then, with
a damn good clout around the head and a kick up
the butt, kicked me out of his garden.

It has to this day made me wonder what kind of a person
would assault a young child, and not want to know why
he was doing what he was doing on his own at that
time of day. Iíve put it down to local knowledge
and not knowing me as a local but different and
just as a thief.

A short while after I went back and
smashed some of his greenhouse windows and ran
like mad until I came across some allotments. This
was a godsend - fresh vegetables, carrots, and
peas, runner beans a barrel of rain water. If you
ever have to drink from a barrel of rain water, it is
always better to purse your lips put them under the
water give a light blow and suck, the same as with
a puddle.

I found my way into one of the sheds, which to
my joy had an old tin kettle, a primus stove along
with the makings of a cuppa - tea, sugar and
powdered milk. I settled down in the obligatory
chair that was in the corner with a nice hot cuppa
and my raw vegetables. I tried to boil them in the
kettle, but they were barley cooked but I still ate
them. It was total bliss.

Shortly afterwards I must
have fallen asleep as the next thing I knew was that
I could hear voices. I had a look to see what was
what it was. Some men were doing their weeding and
whatever it was else they did on allotments. While
working out what to do I had a look at the
compulsory gardener's calendar and found it was
the eighteenth of August, a Sunday that would
make life a bit easier for me.

Along with my
vegetables I had left, I decided it best if I headed
towards the main road. I found a signpost for
Newark, which was great as I knew my way round
there, and knew I could get to Doncaster from there,
but I was going in the wrong direction. Some of my
families were there also which was frightening, so I
decided to head towards Newark by means of going
behind the hedgerow along the side of the road. I
had to stick close to the hedge as the fields were all

After a while I had to go onto the road as I
had come to a T-junction. I managed this several
times without been seen by anyone; eventually I
started to feel the damp. I also became tired and
feeling very lonely. I managed to find a dry patch
under a part of the hedgerow, curled myself up and
cried myself to sleep.

When I awoke I was so confused. Ididnít know
what the time was or where I was. but I knew the
cars were going in the direction I needed to be
going. As I continued on my way I began to feel
hungry. There wasnít anything growing in the fields
as most of them had been ploughed and picked.
But I remembered my dad saying that the new
leaves from the Hawthorne bush were good for
you, so I picked a load and ate them. I canít
remember what they taste like but I know I didnít
spit them out so they canít be that bad and IĎm still

As I carried on I came to a junction where
there were houses, I snuck around the back of
them to see if I could find some food; I managed to
get some more bits of vegetables. I headed down a
lane which I thought would be quicker and safer,
but it turned out I was going further from the road.
So I went through the field to get me to where I
should be. I felt that I had been walking for what
seemed to be a forever day (the longest day). I must
have looked a right sight, something like one of
those little Victorian waifs that you see in films.


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