Monday, May 19, 2014

Between the Lines: Oliver Twist

Hi all! I hope you had a nice weekend. Mine was excellent. I had a beautiful day in Madison, CT on Saturday at the Shoreline Spring Festival where I met some great people and got to talk with a lot of kids about writing and the Deliverers Series. Then yesterday, my son Christian and I went to see a great movie--Million Dollar Arm. Really great stuff.

Anyway, today I've got the pleasure of talking with an interesting lad. He has no father or mother of his own and he's known some really tough times, but he's managed to rise above all that and make something of himself. I'm speaking of Oliver Twist. Let's hear what he has to say.

Greg:  Hello Oliver, what's the good word?

Oliver:  'Ello guv. Good word, why I ain't sure what ya rightly mean. I've found there's precious little good in the world.

Greg:  That's really too bad. I know you've been through some tough times, but surely there's more good in the world than you say.

Oliver:  Could be you're right, things did work out al right for me in the end. But not ev'ryone can say that. Take Nancy, for instance.

Greg:  Nancy? Oh yes, the girl who tried to help you.

Oliver:  Aye, one o' the few what ever did me a kind turn in me youth. What did she get for it, eh? Beat t' death by that bugger Bill Sikes. I've knowed a mess o' folk in me life, but precious few good 'uns I can tell ya. How about them Bumbles in the workhouse? Worked us all 'alf t' death they did, and fed us next t' nothin'. All skin and bones we was. It got so bad I had t' take me life in me 'ands and ask for more.

Greg:  Well, there's bad people, I'll admit, but there are also good ones. 

Oliver:  Then there was Fagin and the Artful Dodger. They was no saints. Fagin put us t' work in the streets, pickin' pockets. I was never no good at it, and I got pinched.

Greg:  True, but didn't that lead to a change in your fortunes? You met Mr. Brownlow that day.

Oliver:  Aye, that may well 'ave been true, but it weren't all peaches and cream from there on out. For one thing, Nancy were done for and Fagin and Sikes were still a thorn in, um, side it ya take m' meanin' and all.

Greg:  Still, you can't say that things did not start looking soon after that.

Oliver:  No, I don't s'pose I can. I 'ave t' admit, things are a lot better now. Especially since I met Aunt Rose. I'm livin' with Mr. Brownlow now and things 're lookin' up, all in all. I thank you for remindin' me that things is much better now.

Greg:  No trouble at all. I'm glad to help. By the way, whatever happened to the Artful Dodger?

Oliver:  Oh 'im? He was shipped off t' Australia. Funny, but I here tell he's back. Still somewhat of a criminal I hear.

Greg:  Oh dear. Is he still picking pockets?

Oliver:  In a manner of speakin'. He's got 'imself inta politics.

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