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I Didn't Belong: Chapter Five - Cold And Alone

When he was six years old Ronnie Cook found himself cold and alone, hiding in a hedgerow, having run away from his violent and cruel Gyspy father.

Ronnie's wonderful story of survival and redemption is being serialised in Open Writing. To catch up on earlier chapters click on I Didn't Belong in the menu on this page. The book is available from amazon.co.uk Type the title into the Amazon search box.

I went along the hedgerow towards Doncaster. It
wasn’t long before I heard gunshots followed by
screams of, "Get off my land, you dirty, filthy gypo
scum." So I decided to go along the roadside, and if
anyone, especially lorries, looked like they were
going to stop, I would run through the hedgerow
and hide, as most of the family drove lorries or

However, one chap saw me and pulled over
so I ran into the hedgerow and hid in what I believe
were thorn bushes, thinking I would be safe as I
remembered the story about Br'er Rabbit, and I
was smaller than him. But he followed me and
eventually caught me.

After talking to me he
persuaded me to get in his car saying he would
take me to Doncaster to my family. The only place
I knew in Doncaster where a member of my Mum's
family would be was my Uncle Harry at one of his
Fairway Supermarkets, the one round the back of
the Gaumont Cinema. I don’t think the man
believed me - a scruffy waif of a gypsy that looked
more like a Pakistani in rags than a member of a
respectable family like the Rounds.

I fell asleep in the car as it was warm, but when
we arrived in Doncaster, this man woke me and
asked me if I wouldn’t mind getting in the back
seat and getting my head down as it would look
strange with me in the car, which to some extent I
can now understand. However, when we got to the
bottom of Silver Street he carried straight on
instead of turning right so I started kicking and
punching him and grabbing the steering wheel. I
knew that if you didn’t drive in the right way the
police would stop you, as they would think you
were drunk.

He did then take me to Uncle Harry’s I
think this was more to put his mind at rest. When
we arrived there the shop was closed, but there
was a light on in what was the office, he let me out
of the car to knock on the door, and I kicked and
thumped and screamed at the door for what
seemed to be a lifetime.

Eventually, I got a
response. It was my Aunty Hilda. She let me in. First
thing she asked was how did I get there. When I
explained everything we went to look for the car,
but the man had gone. But Uncle Harry was in the
mind that he had been set up by my dad who was
going to rob him.

I often wonder what would have
happened if nobody was in the shop and I went
back to the car. Would I have ended up living with
a loving, caring family, or could something awful
have happened to me? I prefer to think he was a
good man that got scared and drove off, as I was
actually a member of such a family. I can now
understand the problems that it would have caused
him, especially if he was a man in a good position
in life or work.

I would, however, have liked to have
met him again. So if you are out there still, I would
like to thank you for being an angel in my time of
need and would still like to meet you. I don’t
somehow think too many people would do
something like he did on that day. It was rather like
the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke10:27-
37.) So once again thanks.


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