I Am A Boy From The 1850s
Haresh Ellinavaalu, Grade 7, MacKillop Catholic Regional College -
I am a boy from 1850….I was working on my claim with my father just like every other day when I heard the word that every miner despises “Traps”. The traps were the most despised people in the whole goldfield. Getting caught by them was every miners worst nightmare. Me and my father turned and ran. We only stopped once we were a good 100m away. “That’s enough work for today young lad” my father said and luckily we had carried all our equipment with us but then again, the only equipment we actually had was the two pickaxes we had been working with and we had just carried the pickaxes with us when we ran, so we had everything with us so we began the long walk home.
Stuff like this had happened many times before but that been the last straw. The next morning when my dad said it was time to go and start working on our claim I interrupted him and said “no father”. “What do you want to do then?” my father replied. I said “I want to find work in the city”. I had expected my dad to go no, no, no and then for me to go yes, yes, yes but that was really far from the truth. My dad just simply said “yes”.
That day, I went to the city looking for work when I crashed into a trapper. “Sorry” I said although I felt like kicking him down a drain. I walked down the street to the butchers shop. I asked “Do you have any work for me?” Suddenly, the trap I’d crashed into earlier strode in. “Don’t give the boy work if you know what’s good for you” the trap sneered. “I’m afraid I don’t have any work for you” the butcher whimpered, clearly afraid. “If you’re not buying anything then get out” said a Chinese boy. The trapper quickly shuffled out. “My name is Wang” he said “you can work at my father’s shop”.
The next day, I went to Wang’s father’s medicine shop where I became his father’s apprentice. After a few days, my father struck it rich but that’s another story.