Hidden Lives Revealed. A virtual archive - children in care 1881-1981 * Image of handwritten text

Little Joe

Photograph that inspired this poem or story

Adults and children outside an ironmongers

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It all started one dark morning when Joe was walking down a dusty street. Joe was cold and he felt lonely all by himself; his bare feet slid along on the pavement as he walked. Then someone tapped his cold shoulder, he could hear the person breathing right behind him. A voice called to Joe, "What are you doing here on the street?"
As Joe turned around he saw a tall scary man staring down at him.
"Well I.." said Joe, too scared to finish his sentence.
"Where have you come from", said the tall scary-looking man.
"Well, I'm looking for my mummy", replied Joe. Then the man looked at Joe in a weird way.

"Oh you will be perfect", said the man staring down at Joe with a weird look on his face.
"Perfect for what", said Joe not knowing what the man was talking about. "Well I'm looking for a picture to put in the newspaper and you will be perfect for it".
"And the person who gives the best picture gets 2 shillings", said the man. "I wish I had that amount of money so I can buy some food", said Joe. "Well if you let me take your picture I will give you half of the money, Deal?" asked the man.
"OK!" said Joe full of excitement. So the man took the photo and walked away.

The next day when Joe was outside a shop, looking at the yummy food in the window which was making his tummy rumble. He saw a big heading on a newspaper saying BOY WANTED. Then as Joe looked at the photo he realized the picture was the one of him that man took yesterday.
Then to Joe's surprise he saw the same tall man walking outside a food shop.

"Hello", Joe said to the man making him jump up in shook.
"Oh! Hello" replied the man.
"Do you remember our deal yesterday", said Joe.
"Oh, yes, well here is the money I promised- one shilling".
"Thanks" said Joe so he happily and he ran off in to the shop to buy something to eat. To Joe's surprise as he walked out he saw a lady who looked a lot like his mum, in the distance. He ran towards here as fast as he could and looked at her. Then he had a flash back of his mum, it was her. He had found her. "Mummy", said Joe, jumping up and down for a cuddle. "Joe, is that you" replied the mum. Then she bent down and picked Joe up to give him a cuddle. Joe and his mum were reunited for ever.


by a pupil at The City of London Academy

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