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The Strange Saviour

The Strange Saviour
Millie Gould

Salvation can come from the strangest of forms, and in this case it did.

The scarecrow stood tall and floppy, his ragged coat flapping in the misty winter air.

It was the 28th of January 1940. Liesl and Felix stormed through the forest, their Jewish star arm bands thrown behind them. They stopped by the big willow tree, panting. They started to whisper about their friends, Talitha Chorphlene, Gideon Chorphlene   and Lydia Oppenheimer, hoping they were still safe in the basement of the Oppenheimer safe house.

“It will be splendiferous when we get there!” squealed Felix.

“Yes it will,” sighed Liesl, hoping inside that they would get there. “Let’s get there fast because I can’t wait till we taste Lydia’s cooking.” Liesl’s mouth began watering.

BANG!!!!  The crackling of gun shots rung in their ears as the sharp meanness of the bark chips hit them. Liesl and Felix stumbled through the forest, tripping in the rabbit holes, their ragged clothes getting torn by the sharp thorns. As they ran through the muddy creepers they could sense the Nazis approaching . Even though the many blisters and bumps on their feet were absolute agony, they ran on not daring to stop. Looking ahead, they saw a big, open, frost coated field.

“Oh no,” screamed Liesl, “open space.” She dragged her whimpering cousin through the field, her legs like jelly.

The scarecrow looked on, helpless.

In Vienna, Lydia was sitting down on her grandma’s threadbare rug as she ate her battered plum, stolen from the floor of the market. All she could think about was Liesl and Felix running from the guns of death.

Gideon couldn’t get into the Richmal Crompton story he was reading. He was too busy worrying about Liesl and young Felix and what might happen to them. Would they be captured and  forced into telling the evil Nazis where they were going? Or maybe they were in a death camp or, or, or… anything could happen or it might already have happened. Gideon threw these bad thoughts away and carried on reading. Talitha was worrying too, but as she was the second oldest it was her duty to look after immature worryguts like Gideon.

“When we get to the scarecrow get under it and curl up,” panted Liesl. They ran and dived under the torn scarecrow, terrified and shaking.

Gun shots screeched out, but then a phenomenal thing happened. The scarecrow took one meek step forward, allowing the bullets to hammer him down. The Nazis were shocked. They approached the scarecrow. They still wanted their vodka celebration so they needed those kids. They looked down to where the two dirty little Jewish vermin had been, but all they saw was a flattened patch of frosted grass and two faraway figures on their way to the Oppenheimer’s safe house.

The scarecrow stood tall, smart and proud, the corners of his stitched mouth curved into a cheerful smile, and his once cold heart filled with warmth.


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