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A Bunch of Battlers

“We’llneedsomesortofcampinggear– plastic tarp, blankets,
billy – that sort of stuff”addedRobyn“Maybeweshouldstayin
the city for a few weeks and try to build up some money from
odd jobs.
“Yesthat’sanidea– we can always start with selling
newspapersandthenthere’saluminiumcanstocollectandwe
should be able to pick-up some free food from the damaged stuff
at the markets and.....
“TheOrangePeople”interruptedRobyn“Ireadaboutthemin
the paper. They have a kitchen and they give out meals to people
– no questions asked. Apparently some kids from the big flats go
thereeveryday”
“Iknowjustwherewecanlive”chimedinBilly“There’slambs
andducksandcalvesandchickensandpigsandacowand”
“Whatareyoutalkingabout”enquiredPete“Thisisthecity
boy- thatsoundsmorelikeafarm”
“Tistoo”saidBilly“farminthecity”
“Thechild’sdreamingagain”
“Noreally”criedBilly“Isawitontellyatthatwelfareofficer’s
placeit’srightinthecityIt’scalledCollingwoodFarm”
Peter and Robyn looked across at each other and grinned.
“Soundsjust liketheplacefellaI’llgoacrosstotheTourist
BureauandaskaboutitrightnowShan’tbelong”Peteducked
off leaving the other two to finish their meals.
“farmmeansabitofbusharounditandwecanmakeahidden
campthere”musedRobyn
“Whydowehavetohide?”demandedBilly
“Thewelfaredon’treckonthatchildrenontheirowncanmanage
without getting into trouble, so we have to make sure that no-
onerealisesthatwedon’thaveagrownupwithusYou
understand that – don’tyouBilly?”explainedRobyn
Billy nodded and looked suitably solemn; after all he knew
grown-ups had funny ideas about most things.
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