The Life of a Poor Boy

June 5th, 1947

My dad gave me a notebook for my birthday. It’s really weird because I didn’t want a notebook, but he told me to write everything I felt about and everything I go through in this book. He also told me to write in our language, and not to show anybody. So here it is. Hi! My name is Akecheta and I’m 12 years old! I live with my pa and ma, and my little sister in a small tribal camp not too far from the big cities. I grew up here with my family and friends, and my favourite thing to go is play with animals. My favourite animal is the horse because it’s so big and majestic. I like riding horses. I don’t like cleaning their poo though, it smells really bad. My life is pretty good because I have a good family, a wonderful sister, and I am free to do whatever I please. I really like my life! I wish it could be like this forever!

June 7th, 1947

I’m very tired today. My ma is making me clean the house and make sure all the horses are clean. I don’t know why she’s making me do all of this. All my sister does is relax and play with all her friends. Why do I have to work all day? It’s not fair. I’m really upset by it. I want to go and have fun. I dislike my ma sometimes. I need to be free and live my life. I just want this day to end. But something feels off though. Pa has been acting very strange lately, and hasn’t really been looking at me lately.  We were suppose to go on our walk, but he asked me to go by myself. I wonder what I did wrong.

June 10th, 1947

Days go on by and my pa is keeping his distance. I don’t know what I did wrong though. Did I forget to clean the horses? Or did I say something rude to him? Ma won’t tell me what’s wrong, and every time I walk up to her, I think I see her start to cry. I never like to see my ma cry. What am I doing wrong? I see my ma and pa pray every night now, and they don’t usually pray. My sister seems to be the only one who still loves me. I can always count on her to be my friend.

June 11th, 1947

I’m so cold. And I’m hungry. They all came so fast. I was dragged by my shirt while I was sleeping. It all happened too quickly. I saw my mom screaming while by father was holding her back. Nothing could have prepared me for what’s coming next. I was scared, I was confused, and I was alone. There were other kids like me. Some of them were older, and others younger. They were all as scared as I was. Their light, slowly fading away from them. We’re on a truck going somewhere none of us know. There’s someone coming. I must hide.

June 12th, 1947

I don’t like this place at all. The teachers are mean and rude, and are scary. They treat kids very badly. I see them whipping, and hitting, and hurting young kids. The new kids were screaming and crying for their families. I won’t lie. I was crying too. They washed us with hard brushes and gave us all the same clothing. I have marks on my back from the bushes and I feel uncomfortable. I don’t like my clothes, they’re itchy. I want my on stuff back. But I won’t say anything. Before I spoke my language and one of the nuns smacked me with a stick. I didn’t know why she had to hit me. She hit me again and told me to never speak my language again. I don’t talk anymore. I’m too scared. I don’t want to get hit again.

June 19th, 1947

It’s been 7 days since I’ve last written. A boy who had a notebook like me was caught writing when a priest walk by him last night. He dragged by the boy by his hair. He was screaming so loud that everyone woke up. He was apologizing and said he wouldn’t do it again. But that didn’t stop the priest. He was dragged away and I haven’t seem him since. I have only been here for only 10 days. And I feel absolutely alone. The kids here are losing their lights as quickly as I am. The nuns and priests bring nothing but evil to our souls. I can’t be here anymore. I am too sad to do anything. Every night I lie in my bed for hours, thinking about my family at home. Wondering how they’re doing. I miss them everyday.  I wish I was home.

June 21st, 1947

I can’t do it anymore. I was walking through a field with a bunch of other boys when I saw her. My sister was walking through the field with nuns dragging her by her arm. I screamed for her! I called her name, screaming to the top of my lungs. But before I could say anything else, I was hit from behind with a ruler. I fell right to the ground. I blacked out for a second. It was straight to the head. All I could hear was my sister screaming after me. When I finally found the power to open my eyes, she was gone, dragged to a another part of the school. My school mates helped me up. My heart stopped as I realized what they do to little girls like my sister. She won’t ever be the same. They are going to abuse her. They’re going to take her life away.

June 22nd, 1947

I found the rope in the back of the farm. It was a little moldy, but it will do the job. After being in here for so long, Ive realized that I’m not strong enough to do this. My ma and pa aren’t coming for me. My sister will never be the same. I can no longer help her. I’m too weak to do this. I wish nothing but the best for everyone else who’s stronger than me. All the best to those who make it through. Stay strong and do what I couldn’t. Don’t lose your light like I did.

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