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Yiza

by Michael Köhlmeier

A six year old girl illegally moved from her home to another country for reasons we can't be sure of - this is her story. It's a tale of survival in freezing conditions with two friends met through similar circumstances. I can't imagine how I would have survived at that young age. Would I have stayed strong or would I simply have crawled into that dumpster and not woken up. Heartbreaking tale of what's happening to children in today's society.

Extract

There was a gap between the dumpster and the church wall. She crawled into it. It was narrow. She liked that. It felt like she was being held. She fell asleep. When the bells rang again, she didn't wake up. But after midnight she did wake up.
She was freezing. She couldn't feel her hands. At first she wasn't hungry at all, but her hunger soon returned. She braced her legs against the wall and pulled herself up on the dumpster. She tried to push the lid back. She couldn't do it as well as the women had. She gripped the lid handle and pushed against the wall with her feet. A little crack opened up between the lid and the container , and she crawled through it and fell. She fell onto rubbish. It was pitch black in there. She felt around for the good things. She found a banana skin and chewed it. She found a few more things that smelled good and could be bitten.
Translated by Ruth Martin

Parallels

My Name is not Refugee by Kate Milner
 

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