The Other Side of The Tracks:

Children's Prose:

It was a Sunday afternoon; directly after chapel; Grandma had collected us and now we were playing in her back garden. A garden with a beautiful lawn; tall elegant trees and laden with various, colourful flowers and plants.

The sun blazed down, into the garden; as we made our way down the garden path to the fruit bushes. My sister Janet, a year younger than I, and I were about to pick some fruit for ourselves and also for the basin I carried: once full of homegrown fruit it would be made into a pie and served with cream, for an after lunch dessert. We usualy collected fruit for our dessert and grandma would show us how to make a fruit pie.

However, this Sunday was different; as Janet and I neared the fruit bushes I heard some one calling "who's there?" "what's your name?" The voice continued to call and eventualy we realized the person was speaking to us. The shouting had come from behind a tall wooden gate fixed into a tall hedge. We had noticed the gate before, but were not allowed to go through it: the key to open it was kept in the kitchen, hanging on a hook well out of reach.

As Janet and I went toward the gate; Janet stopped I just remembered Grandma asked me to feed the chickens, whilst you get the fruit. Again the shouting behind the gate could be heard more clearly now. "Who are you?" I shouted as loud as I could. "I asked first" volunteered the voice beyond the door.

Janet scampered about and searched for an old battered saucepan minus it's handle. "I've found the sack of chicken feed, I'll just let myself into the chicken run and scoop out some chicken feed for the chickens".

"My name is Anita" I declared. "Now will you tell me your name?" "Of course, my name is Isla". "What are you doing behind the gate?"

"Oh! nothing much" replied Isla. "Can I play with you Anita and the other girl your with?"

"My name is Janet, she retorted and I'm going to feed the chickens; some of them are just chicks".

"The gate is locked and the hedge too thick and too high; I don't see how you can get in to play with us". Oh! That's a shame I can smell the flowers in your garden from here and I've already heard you both say you are to pick fruit for a pie and also you have to feed the chickens. Shame I can't get in or I would help you with your chores!".

Whilst I pondered the situation; Janet had opened the gate of the chicken run, found and sprinkled the chicken feed: the chicken and chicks clucked contentedly and fed on the feed in the warm sunshine.

"I know" I piped up. "Isla listen carefully Janet and I will get the key for the gate from my grandmother's house, when we return I'll unlock the gate and you can come and help us and we can play together".

"If you've finished feeding the chickens Janet; come with me to the house, I'll explain on the way". Hastily Janet left the chicken run and walked with me to the house. "Janet; I explained to her how she was to keep Grandma talking in another room, whilst I got a stool and unhooked the key. Once I was in possesion of the key, I would come into the dinning room also and ask Janet, if she would help me pick more fruit".

This small mission accomplished; I took the key to the door in the high hedge. I left Janet holding the fruit collection bowl; as I steadily worked the key in the lock. In no time at all the door was unlocked and Janet and I were welcoming Isla to my grandma's garden.

Both Janet and I took a peek beyond the open gateway. What a startling contrast to grandma's house and garden: there were a railway line and a very rundown railhouse; scattered everywhere were various wooden and metal sections.

"What a mess" I said; Janet agreed with me. "Poor Isla; we thought, having to live in such a shambles".

We all collected some fruit and placed the full bowl in the cool porch way; away from the sun's heat.

Isla and we played for a while in grandma's beautifully coloured and scented garden. Isla enjoyed herself immensly.

Then in disbelief I came to a halt; I noticed that both Janet and I had left doors open. Janet had not secured the chicken run gate and in my excitment at meeting Isla' I had left the door in the hedge ajar!

"Oh! no" I said to Janet, explaining to her what was wrong. 

Some of the chickens have left their pen and have gone through the door in the hedge. Quickly as I could, I collected some chicken feed in the old, broken saucepan and fled with it out of the garden doorway. Sprinkling the feed about it gained the interest of the escaped chickens.

I trickled the feed from the railway line through the doorway and back to the chicken run. The chickens followed contentedly, the line of feed back into the run. Janet ready at the gateway to secure the gate once all the errant chickens were rounded up.

Soon we had recaptured all the escaped chickens, thank goodness, or we;ll never hear the end of it. 

Thoroughly alarmed but appreciative that none of the chickens came to any harm: we said our hasty goodbyes to Isla, who had thoroughly enjoyed herself. I locked the tall gate in the hedge and we both made sure that the chickens run was closed and locked.

I looked askance at my sister and explained to her how she was once again, to keep grandma talking whilst I placed the key back on the hook in the kitchen.

Janet picked up the collected fruit berries and kept grandma talking, as to whether it should be a pie or crumble we make this week.

I stealthily clambered up the stool, placed the key on the hook, alighted the stool and placed it in the corner of the kitchen, far from the key hook.

"Anita" said grandma; "wash and rinse these berries through, whilst I and Janet get the ingredients ready". "Yes grandma" said I.

I looked at Janet, and she at me "Phew! what an escapade".


Author's Notes/Comments: 



Child hood memories of other side of the tracks.

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PeterChristopherRaymond's picture

I love the minute details

I love the minute details that pepper your work. And it left me wanting to know more about Isla, her hardships and especially her wide-eyed and profoundly curious perspective on life and the wondrous world behind the fence.

a.griffiths57's picture

  Thank you for your


Thank you for your encouraging comments on my poem "The other side of the Tracks". The train track was closed some years after our escapde and the train house and signal box. The train house was demolished and made into a nature walk. Isla, did not like living in the train house because it was so far away from other people. Isla's family moved on the closure of the rail line.

PeterChristopherRaymond's picture

Wow!! Thank you for that

Wow!! Thank you for that precious gift. :)

bishu's picture

Lovely story wondrous flow and style Respected Madam

Lovely story wondrous flow and style Respected Madam and your jinxed number 44 .. Write another one and you win !!!!!! Laughing Happy New Year 2014



a.griffiths57's picture

The other side of the tracks:



Thank you for your encouraging comments, I am pleased you liked the prose.

A very Happy New Year and best wishes to you for 2014, Bishu.