Dear Sasha friends,
I'm so sorry that the Connor Vanishes story has never been fully completed.
It was decided that I should take the Sashas into school and finish the story with Mrs. Exley's class, showing the photos ad indulging in a little choral character reading - each group of children reading a different character's lines from the board.
Sadly, having put all the photos on disk I deleted them from the camera and promptly left the disk behind at the school where a certain, to be nameless teacher used it as a coffee mug coaster. When it was posted back to me, it wouldn't load.
So, here is the text that completes the story, just incase anybody wants to know how Connor and Lucas got together, what tricks they played on Mrs. Mum, how Mossy, that maligned but quite virtuous bear, tried to do the right thing, how Henry's post card from Australia and Girl 53 brought the errant toddler home and a little more about Sid, the Bwbach.
Ignore this post if you want photos - in the words of Girl 53 - we don't got none no more!
Mam was thrilled to see Connor sitting at the table with a Marmite sandwich on his plate, but wasn't sure whether to hug him or be cross.
''ello, Mam. I back now!' he announced, stating the obvious. 'This my friend Girl 53 and she want to live here now.'
'Poor little thing,'
thought Mam, looking at Girl 53. 'What IS her mother doing, letting a child run around in filthy clothes, with a sack across her shoulders. Oh, my goodness, she doesn't even have any shoes on her feet!'
The little girl smiled up at Mam but looked quite terrified.
'I brung Boy 124 back. I mean I brung Connor back. I'll go now, if I'm in the way.' she said.
'Oh no you won't' said Mam. 'You are staying right here until you've had more to eat, a bath and put some clean clothes on. Then we'll decide what to do next. I'd like to hear how you found Connor too. He has a big imagination and quite a small vocabulary, so it might be easier to understand if you tell the story. Eat a little more first though, dear.'
Mam went to run a bath for their visitor.
'She called me dear!' said Girl 53. 'And she wasn't cross with me!'
'Course not!' answered Wren. 'You haven't done anything wrong, have you? You saved Connor.'
Mam called a group of the boys together.
'I need you lads to act as policemen for me please.' she told them 'Connor is back and a little girl brought him home. I need to talk to them to find out what happened but don't want any interuptions.
So, Robin and Emrys, could you go and tell all the others to stay out of the kitchen until super time and Fred and James, I need you to stand guard outsde the kitchen door and send anybody who forgets away.
Bertie and Fred, go and find Dada and tell him Connor is home and I'll see him soon to tell him what is happening. The girl who came with Connor is very frightened just now, and it is probably best if she doesn't meet too many new people all at once.
Oh, and Fred.... Connor's home now, you are no longer in mourning for him. PLEASE take off your very dirty pyjamas and find something else to wear. If you don't, you'll have a choice - you can go into the washing machine with your p.j.s on, or into the bin with them on!'
The boys bustled off to carry out their special jobs, full of their own importance.
Half an hour later, the girl had eaten her fill, taken a bath and borrowed some of Wren's clothes.
Mam sat her in the green armchair and Connor sat next to her.
'Boy.... erm.... Connor will have to tell you the first bit of what happened, because I weren't there.' said Girl 53.
Connor looked very pleased to be so important.
' I telled Paul I wanted to go to Australia with Henry,' he began. 'So me and my friend Sid did go with Paul in his bike box. We went to the post office and the lady said the parcel what Paul helped us get in didn't have the right words or stamps on it. She gived me this Australnania card from Henry to carry and Paul did get me in the bike carrier to go back home, but I did jump out again with Sid, and I did push the box into the big bag the postman does carry and then I jumped in too and me and Sid goed to sleep.
When I did wake up anuvver man was poking me and saying a question, asking are I livestock or are I a people. I said I a boy and Sid is a little green man, what is my friend. The silly man said Sid isn't there and he are a custom man what decides what can't travel on aeroplanes. Then he say what is mine name and I don't want to tell so I won't get in trouble, so I say I are Lucas. He say small boys can't go to Australnania in a box and livestocks can't go to Australnania even if they buy a ticket.
Then a lady policeman camed and took me to The Village cuz I say I am Lucas. And I live with Lucas for a few days and nights and we play tricks. We play a game that I am Lucas sometimes and Lucas be Lucas sometimes cuz we look a bit same. Sometimes we hide so nobody be Lucas too, but we both eat nice stuff there and be good friends. Then Mr. Mossy catch us and say he has to tell Mrs. Mum. I scared I get told off, so I runned away and anovver policeman lady catch me and take me to a Norphanage.
Then the nasty norphanage lady say I are Boy 124 and that Girl 53 is going to show me what I do for work and.... and... nasty lady won't let me go HOME....'
Girl 124 puts an arm round Connor's shoulders.
'I'll finish the story now.' she tells him.
'Well, I have always live at the orphanage. I have nowhere else to go, but I could see Connor had a nice home somewhere. When Matron told me to make sure he had work to do and a place to sleep, I statrted getting to know him. He showed me the post card he'd got from another country. Lovely it is, with pretty pictures and a letter on it from a boy called Henry and his Mum. Anyway, it's got this address on it and we decided to run away together so I could help him get home and I could see what the world outside the orphanage is like.
It took ages to find our way here. Connor didn't know the name of the nearest town so we'd not much idea of where we were going. We met a big girl and asked her if she knew where we should go. She said it was about 200 miles and showed us a map that was in her school bag. She said to try the coach station and told us how to get to it.
At the coach station, I found a coach going to Hereford and we hid in the luggage place with the passangers' bags. Then, after a long trip in the dark, we crept out at Hereford and found a bus coming near here. We just followed a family on to it, so the driver thought the Dad was paying for us. We got off about three days ago and then started walking and reading the road signs until Connor saw a bit he recognized and we just walked a little more until we got here. Then I got even more scared and we hid in the barn last night.'
'What exactly happens at the orphanage?' asked Mum. 'Why don't you know your real name or have any shoes?'
'Oh, we all work for Matron. We do housework and cooking and then we make things for her to sell. She doesn't want us to go out. I suppose she thinks we might tell somebody that, except from lessons and sleeping, we have to work all the time.' answered the girl.
'I'm going to get into so much trouble when I get back, but it has been worth it, just to get away for a few days. Even the Sasha stand punishment will be worth it.'
'What's the Sasha stand punishment?' asked Wren.
Girl 124 lifted her teeshirt.
'You have to stand for days on end with a metal band round your middle and it squeezes you tight, so you get sort of squished, like this.' she replied.
Mam, Angharad and Wren all sucked in their breath.
'Well,' said Mam. ' One thing is certain. You are not going back there. And another thing, that Matron woman is going to get what's coming to her!'
'Just one more question, though.' Wren piped up. 'Connor, who IS SID?'
'Mine friend.' replied Connor. 'Mine friend the little green man with the pointy eas what say he is a Bwbach.
'Not another invisible green man!' Angharad whispered to Wren.