“It was Saturday, and Emily was tired. “Emilia!” cried one of the orphanage ladies. The orphanage ladies mostly spoke spanish, which was very difficult for the orphanage girls. Emily was 8 years old, her birthday was September 12, and she lived in an orphanage.”
Chapter #1 No! Not Ruby!
It was Saturday, and Emily was tired. “Emilia!” cried one of the orphanage ladies. The orphanage ladies mostly spoke spanish, which was very difficult for the orphanage girls. Emily was 8 years old, her birthday was September 12, and she lived in an orphanage. It was the year 1890. She’d been there since she was 2. Her parents were killed by the latest invention, the hair dryer. It fell in the bath and her parents had forgotten to unplug it. The name of the orphanage was Ragged Orphanage. The orphanage was in New York City on the Upper West Side. The orphanage lady always woke her up very early to do her chores. She needed to sweep the floors and scrub the windows.
At the orphanage, all the girls had to wear the same clothes. Their clothes were gray dresses. All the girls slept in a big room on beds made of itchy wool.
Emily got out of bed groaning. She got dressed and went to go fill her bucket with water. She watched as the other orphanage girls went to fill up their buckets. Emily was friends with all the orphan girls except for one girl. Her name was Joanna. Joanna was bigger and older than Emily. She had red curly hair and brown eyes. Emily was always being bullied by Joanna.
“Hey!” yelled Joanna. “Thats my bucket!”
“No, it’s mine!” Emily yelled.
“Niñas!” cried one of the orphanage ladies. All of a sudden the door opened. Everybody stared. Somebody walked in the door. Not many people came to Ragged Orphanage. It was a lady in very nice clothes. She was wearing a big yellow dress and a big hat with flowers on it. She had lots of freckles and very blonde hair. She was also very tall.
“Hello,” she said. “My name is Jane Wreath.”
“Hello!” said the girls in unison. They all wanted to be the one to be adopted that day.
“I want a girl with blonde hair,” said the lady.
Half of the shoulders in the orphanage dropped.
“And I want the girl to have curly hair and blue eyes,” said the lady.
Did Emily have blue eyes? But curly hair? No. Emily was very sad. The lady looked at Emily’s best friend Ruby. “That one!” she said. “I want that one!”
Emily felt her heart stop with pain. When somebody got adopted at the orphanage, the girls had to clap, but not many of them felt like it. Ruby smiled.
“Go pack your bags!” said the lady.
All the girls came with her as she went to pack her bag. When they got up to the room, Emily said to Ruby, “I’m so sad you’re leaving!”
“It’s okay! I’ll come to visit,” said Ruby.
But Emily was not so sure. Many of her friends had said that but never came to visit.
“Well, I really have to go now,” said Ruby. Then Ruby, carrying her bag, went downstairs. After a moment, Emily followed. Everybody clapped as she left. Joanna gave Emily a long, mean, smile. She could tell what Emily was thinking. Emily was thinking that she would never see her best friend ever again. Tears started to well up in her eyes.
“I guess it is time to start my chores” whispered Emily. She picked up her bucket and her mop and started cleaning.
Emily was mopping the floor of the bedroom that all the girls slept in, when one of the orphanage girls, named Haddie, stopped what she was doing because she saw that Emily was really sad. She came over and gave Emily a hug.
“Thanks,” said Emily.
“Sure,” said Haddie.
Haddie was new to the orphanage and she didn’t have many friends yet. Haddie was 6 and she was a small girl with very blonde hair and blue eyes, just like Emily. She had a small squeaky voice, too. She was very shy, but she was also very kind. They hadn’t really talked much before.
“You know, you’re not so bad,” said Emily.
None of the girls were really fond of Haddie. They all complained that she was so small, but Emily didn’t mind. They thought it was strange that she was the one that had to clean the high windows and not the tallest girls. It was harder for the taller girls, but Haddie was so small and light that it was easier to climb on the ladder to the higher windows.
“What do you mean?” said Haddie. “All the other girls like me, too, don’t they?”
“Well, honestly, they’re really jealous that you’re the one that gets to clean the high windows and not them.”
“Oh,” said Haddie in a small voice.
“But don’t worry, I’ll be your friend,” said Emily.
All the other girls were jealous of Haddie because when somebody cleaned the high windows, the orphanage ladies prized them by giving them their own bed for the night. Because not only did all the girls sleep in one big room, but two girls had to sleep in one bed. But for Haddie, sleeping in bed with two people was no big deal. The other girls tried complaining to the orphanage ladies that they needed the bed more than Haddie, but it didn’t work. The orphanage ladies just sat there, nodding their heads no, while munching on chips.
During the day, all the other bigger girls tried to trip Haddie and make the orphanage ladies think that Haddie was clumsy.
“Stop tripping me,” Haddie would say.
And then, the orphanage ladies would come and the bigger girl would say, “I didn’t do anything.” The orphanage ladies still didn’t believe any of the bigger girls. The bigger girls were Sophie, Casey, and even Joanna. Joanna was the worst of all. She wouldn’t just trip Haddie, but when the orphanage ladies came, she would pretend that Haddie had hit her.
She would moan and clutch her hand to her arm. She would yell, “She hit me, she hit me!”
The orphanage ladies would just yell in their Spanish accent, “Back to work!”
Emily was very tired of Joanna. She tried explaining to the orphanage ladies what really happened, but the orphanage ladies could not understand a word and thought that that meant she wouldn’t listen and so they yelled at them, “Back to work!”
One day, when the girls were all taking a stroll in the park, as they did every day, except for in the winter, Emily found a little lizard. Emily had a brilliant idea. She put the lizard in her pocket and they headed off back to the orphanage. They ate their dinner and then Emily went upstairs to master her plan before Joanna came up.
The next morning, Emily woke up to Joanna screaming, “There’s a lizard in my pillow, there’s a lizard in my pillow!” Her face was so red, it was like a very ripe apple.
Joanna ran downstairs screaming to the orphanage ladies, but since they always knew that she was faking Haddie hitting her arm, they didn’t believe her. Joanna came back upstairs stomping. “I’m going to get you back,” she said to Emily. Joanna knew it was Emily because in Joanna’s opinion, everything that went badly was Emily’s fault. But Emily didn’t believe she would do something just as bad.
They did all of their chores and went to the park again that day. Then, it was time to go to bed. Emily knew that Joanna was planning something bad, because right before she went to bed, Joanna gave her another one of her long, mean smiles.
Emily woke up in a pile of the orphanage ladies’ pickle chips. She was so angry at Joanna because Joanna knew that Emily was allergic to pickle chips.Emily knew that Joanna had done this because there were crumbs all over her face. Emily’s face was covered in red and her arms and legs stuck out into thin air. Emily got out of bed and stomped over to the bed where Joanna slept. Well, at least it seemed like she was stomping to Emily, but she was really limping on one foot.
“Joanna!” She screeched.
Joanna woke up, pretending to act normal. “I didn’t do anything. Oh my goodness, look at you! What happened?”
“You know what happened,” Emily said. “You were the one who did this.”
All of a sudden, the orphanage ladies came into the room.
“Emily!” They yelled. “What were you thinking?” They said again in their Spanish accents.
Emily pointed one wrinkly finger at Joanna. Joanna gasped in a very unreal way. The orphanage lady shook her finger ‘No.’ Emily gave a sour look to the orphanage lady. The other orphanage lady pointed toward the bathroom. Emily knew what they meant. Everytime she got all weird because of the pickle chips, she had to take a bath with not water, but tomato juice. She thought the tomato juice was so stinky that she always had the orphanage ladies give her a clothespin to put over her nose.
They had Emily sleep in the backyard that whole week while Joanna got to sleep in Emily’s bed and the person who slept in the same bed as Emily had to sleep with the person who slept with Joanna, so that Joanna got her own bed. The orphanage ladies were mad at Emily because they thought she was blaming it on Joanna, but they didn’t really know that it was really Joanna’s fault.
Just then, Emily had an even better plan. After she took the bath in tomato juice, she went and got a paper and pen. Then, she wrote on the piece of paper. At the top, she wrote: Advertisement. Then, after that, she wrote: Joanna (orphanage girl, $ 1,200) Hurry! Before she gets sold to someone else! When she was done, she went downstairs laughing and pinned the sign up to the pole next to the orphanage. Surprisingly, the next day a tall, plump lady came to the orphanage.
“I saw the sign, and I want to adopt this Joanna. Here is the money, now give me the girl.”
Emily had done it. She was so surprised and she was so happy. This time, she was happy that Joanna would leave, and so she did not clap, even though the orphanage ladies said they had to. This whole time Joanna was pale in the face.
Chapter #2 Carrie
The next few days were a dream come true. But not for very long. A couple of days later, a new girl was delivered to Ragged Orphanage. She was very tall and skinny. She towered over Emily. Her hair was very curly and blonde. She had very sharp, brown eyes. Emily knew she would be competing with this girl too.
“Hello,” said the girl in a very sharp voice. “I am Carrie Brown.”
“Why do you have two names?” Emily asked.
“What do you mean?” said Carrie. “Everybody has two names, a first and a last. Don’t you know that? Everybody knows that.”
“I don’t have a last name,” said Emily. “But I might get one when I’m adopted.”
“What do you mean, ‘adopted’?” said Carrie. “I was told I was coming to a palace. Not an orphanage! Lead me to my room, immediately.”
Emily led Carrie up to the big bedroom where all of the girls slept.
“Well, where’s my room?” said the girl.
“Well there’s your bed. You’re going to share a bed with me now.”
“What?! This is the worst place I’ve ever been to. How long have you been here?”
“Six years,” Emily said.
“Well, I’ve been here six minutes.” Carrie took her large suitcase and unpacked her beautiful clothes that many of the orphanage girls didn’t have.
“Here’s your uniform,” Emily said, handing her a grey dress.
“I don’t wear uniforms,” she said.
“Well, you do now,” Emily replied.
Carrie snorted. “Fine,” she said.
“What is that?” Asked Emily, pointing to a pile of coins that Carrie had.
“Money! Doesn’t anybody have some here?”
“I’ve never seen it before.”
“Well, I’m rich,” said Carrie. “Or was. I come from London. My building burnt down. I lived in one of the most beautiful houses in the whole country. Now, I’m in an orphanage in New York. This place is filthy! You use this money to buy things,” said Carrie. “For example, food.”
“I get my food at the orphanage by paying with these,” Emily scooped up a handful of the buttons she had in her bag. Carrie looked disgraced.
“This place should be better by the time I get adopted,” said Carrie.
“Mind if I give you a new nickname?” Emily asked,
“Like what?” Carrie replied.
“Mrs. Fancy Pants.”
“What do you think?”
“No!” Carrie yelled.
“Oh, and here are your buttons,” Emily said, smiling. That night Emily fell asleep watching Carrie sleep in her very formal way. For her first day, Carrie was not so bad. Emily woke up to find Carrie sewing a flower on her grey dress. Now Emily liked Carrie even better. After a few days, all of the other girls were sick of Carrie and Emily, because every day they only hung out with each other. Every time one of the orphanage girls saw Emily and Carrie, they groaned and buried their heads in their hands. Emily just smiled while Carrie went red with rage. The next day, when the girls went on their stroll through the park, Emily found the most cutest thing she had ever seen. It was small and fussy. Then Emily realized it was a hampster. She scooped it up in her hands and pet its head.
“I am going to name you Mis. Alice Fur…”
“— KK!” (Emily had nicknamed Carrie). “When you have two names, what do you call the last one!?”
“A last name.” Carrie replied.“Anyway, I am going to name you Miss Alice Furball.” The little hamster squeaked. “I am going to have to sneak you in,” Emily said again. That night Emily woke up to find the hamster running around like a mad dog all over the orphanage bedroom. It was squeaking like the loudest hamster she had ever heard. Everyone else was awake staring at Emily. Everyone knew it was Emily. It was so obvious because as soon as she woke up she gasped, “Miss Alice Furball, my hamster!”
Carrie was frowning the most out of all of them. As soon as she glanced at Carrie, Emily saw how upset Carrie was. She gave Carrie a little smile that made Carrie even more upset. All of a sudden, things got even worse. The orphanage ladies came into the room. The hamster all of a sudden jumped on Carrie. Carrie screamed and hollered. “Oh, what have you done, this hamster, ow ow ow!”
Now the hamster was going mad like all he ever wanted to do was jump in the orphanage and scare all the girls to death. All of a sudden, the hamster leaped on one of the orphanage ladies and bit her right on the finger. The orphanage lady shrieked and hollered in pain, just as Carrie had done. The orphanage lady fainted; all the orphanage girls except for Emily rushed over to her. The other orphanage lady walked over and grabbed Emily by the neck. Then, she noticed why the orphanage lady knew it was her. Carrie was pointing with her trembling finger straight at Emily. Emily burst into tears. She wished that it was still 8 days ago when Joanna was there. She wanted things to go back to normal.
The orphanage lady tossed Emily out the window. “Run away!”
Emily had damaged her leg very badly from falling out the window and could not walk. All of a sudden, the orphanage lady was still watching out the window, this other lady came over. She leaned over Emily. “Are you hurt?” she said.
Carrie came racing out the door to Emily’s side, as well. “Are you okay?” she added as well.
“I’m fine,” Emily said. “But, who are you?” she said, looking up at the other lady.
“My name is Mrs. Victoria Spivonson.”
Emily smiled up at her. “My name is Emily. I”m from the orphanage up there.” It seemed to be very high because Emily was lying on the ground because she couldn’t get up.
“I know,” Mrs. Spivonson said. “I watched that lady throw you out the window. I will take you if you like.” Mrs. Spivonson decided to adopt Emily because she saw how badly the orphanage ladies treated her. “I will take you both.” Emily and Carrie both smiled at each other. They had very big smiles.
After a couple minutes of silence, Emily added, “Can I bring Miss Alice Furball, too?”
Mrs. Spivonson gave her a questioning look.
“Oh, just the hamster I found in the park.”
“What side of the park?” Mrs. Spivonson said.
“Umm, the West side, I think,” said Emily.
“How did you ever find her? And how did you ever guess her name?”
Emily gave Mrs. Spivonson a questioning look in return.
“Oh, that hamster belongs to me. I lost it in the park yesterday. But, you can have her now. Well, now I found my hamster and two girls while I was looking for my hamster,” Mrs. Spivonson said.
Mrs. Spivonson went inside the orphanage to adopt them. Carrie turned to Emily, “I”m sorry,” she said. “That just really hurt when that hamster bit me. And why didn’t you tell me about that hamster?”
“It’s okay, Carrie. I should have told you about the hamster sooner. I was just afraid that you would tell the orphanage ladies even then.”
“You know I wouldn’t do something like that,” Carrie answered.
That night, Emily and Carrie found themselves on their own beds in their own room. They said it was the happiest day of their lives.