We have been reading 'Goodnight Mr Tom' by Michelle Magorian. Today we were replying to a letter from Mrs Beech as if we were Tom Oakley.
Dear Sir or Madam,I asked if Willie could go and stay with God-fearing people so I hope he is. Like most boys he's full of sin but he's promised to be good. I can't visit him. I'm a widow and I haven't got the money. The war and that. I've put the belt in for when he's bad and I've sewn him in for the winter. I usually keep him in when I wash his clothes and I got them special for the cold weather so he should be alright. Tell him his Mum said he'd better be good.Mrs. Beech
This was Sophie's reply:
Dear Mrs Beech,My name is Tom Oakley and I am the person who is taking care of Willie I would also like to you to tell you that Willie has got here safely and he has settled in very well, he is a very quiet boy. I live near a church like you wanted and I read him bible stories every night. Also, he hesitates to ask questions but I answer them anyway. He is very polite and is never naughty I don’t feel the need to use the belt. He has been coming on walks with me and is getting used to the countryside, as it is very different to London, I promise to take good care of him. I am sorry that you can’t come down but we will carry on writing to you to let you know what’s happening. I am quite worried that he can’t read and write for most of the children down here can read and write by the age of around six but anyways, I’ll help him but I am confused to why he didn’t get any help. I you don’t mind me asking did you help Willie with his work? Willie has told me he had no friends but he has made good friends with Sammy and they love going on walks with each other. As it is his birthday in a few days I will give him some presents and throw him a party.Yours sincerely
Dear Mrs Beech,William has settled in well and the billeting officer has given him to a religious person, I do live near a church and I am a regular attender. I always go to church on a Sunday so I hope you are okay with him staying with me. I have not needed to use the belt and I do not intend to do so. He seems to like the village and he does enjoy staying here. We are going to my friend’s house later, after lunch, so that I can have a talk with my friend and his wife because I have not seen them for a while and William can have some orange juice or something while we are there. I told William that after I have written to you we will have some lunch. He has been very well behaved and when he returns home I would ask you not to punish him for behaving terribly because he has been on his best behaviour for me as you said for him to do so. As his mother you will know that is his birthday is very soon as it is on Thursday and I was going to do a little celebration for that, hopefully he will enjoy that. I am also hoping that he will make some new friends over the next couple of days so that we have some people that we can invite to join us. He has already made one friend as he has made good friends with Sammie, they often enjoy going for long walks together and playing in the fields.From Mr Tom Oakley
Dear Mrs. Beech,My name is Tom Oakley and I am currently caring for your child Willie, I am writing to inform you that Willie has settled nicely in my home. Although I am not very experienced with children hopefully I will not have to use the belt that you have sent me because he seems very well behaved. I am a bit concerned about his health though because he has been throwing up a lot lately but luckily I have been able to take him to the village doctor, the doctor informed me that it is a result of malnutrition. As you have requested he is staying in my cottage which is by a Church and I have been reading him stories from the holy Bible that he brought with him. One thing I have noticed though is that he hesitates to ask questions and has been showing some very strange behaviour for example when I put him to bed instead of getting on the bed he hid under the bed and curled up into a ball. He seemed very surprised when I told him that he could actually sleep on the bed under the covers. I have also noticed that he cannot read and write but we won’t have to worry about that because he will be attending the local school. He has also made good friends with Sammy and they enjoy going out on walks in the morning.Yours sincerely,Tom Oakley.
Dear Mrs. Beech,My name is Thomas Oakley. I am looking after your son whilst the war is in place. I live in Little Weirwold and I will take good care of your son. William has been very good, not mischievous at all! He misses you very much but is coping okay. He likes his new home and is to start school soon. I understand that you can’t visit, that is fine. I haven’t used the belt yet, and the behaviour that William is giving me is amazing so I won’t need to be using it. I live near a church and was once religious before my wife died. I read him bible stories every night and take him round the church and the graveyard. He says his prayers at the correct times. Your son keeps learning new things when I take him for walks (I couldn’t believe that he’d never seen a cow before)! He likes his clothes a lot and I am looking to get him some new ones. I told him to be good and he has been. He is a polite, quiet, kind and friendly boy. He must have changed since you last saw him. I don’t really know a lot about looking after children, but I do know your son is a nice person.William is good friends with Sammy and they enjoy long walks together. I know you think dogs are fierce and poisonous, but I think differently. William likes playing with my dog, Sammie.I hope you are okay and we wish to see you soon after the war is over.Yours sincerely,Tom Oakley
Tyler S's letter:
Dear Mrs Beech,I received Willie from the Billeting officer yesterday. Willie is a quiet, shy little boy who doesn’t always reply joyfully to everything you say. He is very well behaved, so there will be no need for the belt you inserted into the bag. As requested, Willie is living near a church with me in Little Weirwold. I read a story from the Bible to him every night. I give him all of his meals each day and he has a little bed in my attic to sleep in every night. Willie is an unconfident boy, that’s probably to do with the fact that he has a new house, village, routine etc. I’m sure he’ll get more confidence by the days he is with me.He has made good friends with Sammy, like going out to play and going out on long walks.As long as he’s with me, he’ll be safe.Yours sincerely,Tom Oakley.
Dear Mrs Beech,I would like to say that your son has reached his new home for the next couple of years. I live in a cottage in the town of Little Weirold, and there is a church 200 yards away. As you requested, I am a Christian, and attend the local church frequently. Every night I read a Bible story to Willie, and he seems to be taking them in.He has been very good. In fact, I didn’t have to tell him to behave. He has made friends with Sammy, and they enjoy spending time together. Willie has settled in well, and has his own room and is eating well.I do not intend to use the belt that you have given me, even if he doesn’t behave, as it is just plain wrong to beat a child. Although I am a single parent (of Willie) and find it hard, as you are, we don’t have to resort to whipping. I have never hurt a child, and I never will. I strongly encourage you to stop when he comes home. I’ll still keep the belt though, as it fits nicely around my waist. Thanks for the belt!Kind Regards,Thomas Oakley, temporary father of William.Love,William