Wee Willy saved Simon’s life. There was an expolsion in the mine near where Willy and gem were working. The men working in the mine rushed out and told Willy to leave the horse. There was no room to turn Gem, she would have to back out.
Willy is getting ready to try backing out Gem when he hears someone crying. He goes back into the mine toward the cries for help. Willy crawls and holds the rail until he reaches Simon who is stuck under rocks. Willy pulls the rocks away from Simon and tells him to crawl out of the mine.
Simon stops crawling after a while. I think he passed out and Robin thinks he was faking. Then gem comes when Willy calls her and Willy and Simon get inside the box of the cart and try to get out. There is another rock fall and he and Simon get hurt again and gem eventually dies.
There is a big celebration where the neighbors and friends bring gifts and blessings to a family in need, Willy’s family. Charlie organized the celebration. Since there was no wage earner in the family, they would be kicked out of their house so Ned, their friend who works in the mine came to live with them. We hope Ned might get married to Nellie.
Willy’s father said that willy could go back to school as soon as John could go back to work. Before gem died, she had a foal. The foal was given to Willy and Charlie will keep the foal at his farm for Willy.
In this chapter Willy works with Ned to learn how to be a driver. Willy and Nellie go and visit their dad in the hospital and their dad is very proud that Willy is taking care of the family by working.
When Nellie and Willy get back home, Charlie is there with pumpkins. The younger sisters are very excited because Halloween is the next day and they have never made jack-o-lanterns before. Halloween is also payday for Willy. Once a month all the workers get a bobtail sheet which detailed how much they owed the mine for rent, food, coal, even church donations. Willy made over two dollars. On the way home, Willy takes a shortcut through the graveyard where Simon and his friends scare him, trip him and take his piece can that held his pay.
Sarah thinks that Charlie is going to come and make Simon and his friends give Willy back his piece can and his money.
I don’t have any idea what will happen but I am very upset that Simon did this.
When Willy got home from the mine, his older sister had drawn him a bath and Willy had a nice hot bath. He found out that his father was conscious but would be a long time before he could go back to work. It was going to take about 6 weeks for John’s leg to heal. That meant Willy would have to keep working for six weeks.
Charlie came to visit Willy’s house when he was in the mine. Charlie left a bag of vegetables for the family. He had heard that Willy’s father and brother were hurt.
The next day Simon (the bully) came over to take Willy to the mine. He was mean to Willy and Willy ended up walking with two strangers to get away from Simon. Willy did not see Simon for a couple of days.
Willy asked Ned, the driver of Sparky, if he could see the stables. Ned said sure and took Willy to the stables that night. Willy saw Gem and found out that Gem was not working well in the tunnels. Willy said he could handle her and Ned said he would talk to the stable men.
I think Willy will get to be a driver for Gem because she is too wild. Robin thinks that Willy will get to be the driver for Gem.
In this chapter Willy had to get up before dawn to go down into the pit. A bully from school was also working inside the pit. Willy was given the job of a trapper. A trapper opened the door to to let out people and horses and closed the door right after. The door needed to stay closed to make sure none of the poisonous gas got in where the workers were. The trapper sat on a little stool and pulled a rope with a weight attached to it that opened the door to let people and horses in and out.
Sparky and his rider made it bearable for Willy to sit in the mine. Sparky was the rider’s horse. Willy decided that he wanted to be a driver in the mine. A driver was someone who took the coal out of the mine using a cart and horse. The driver rode on the cart pulled by the horse.
When Willy left, he did not want to be near Simon because Simon was a bully. So Willy walked home with another man.
A coal mine and all its buildings were called a colliery.
If you would like to learn more on a colliery check out Glace Bay, Nova Scotia.
Willy had a heart-to-heart talk with Charlie the farmer. Willy decided that he would go home and take Gem back to the pasture.
After taking back Gem, Willy started to walk home. On the walk home Willy saw neighbors that looked sad. There was a black wreath on the door to his fathers best friend’s house. A black wreath means that someone has died. When he got to his house there were neighbors on his front porch and his older sister was crying inside the house. Willy’s father and brother had gotten hurt inside the mine.
Willy’s sister told Him that they would be kicked out of the house if nobody was a wage earner for the family. Willy decided to go to work in the mine in the morning. Willy is going to stop going to school until his brother or father is better.
I don’t think he will get whipped for coming home late.
The farmer found Will in the barn and he thought he was a brownie, which is like and elf not an eating treat or a girl going to brownies.
The farmer did not chase away Willy. He gave him a big sweater to wear and slice of warm homemade bread. Willy thanked the farmer and ate it. Willy cleaned out the stables and brushed the horse. The farmer gave Willy a job picking turnips.
When Willy went to wash his hands and face, he saw Gem. Willy gave her the oatmeal cookie.
Sarah wants to know what will happen to Wee Willy when he goes home.
I am scared that willy is going to get into bad trouble with everybody like the farmers sister, his dad, the people at the stable…
Sarah thinks that willy is going to get to keep Gem, but I don’t. The resume at the start of the book said that there was a really sad part and I think that Gem may die.
In this chapter Willy went to see the horses. The horses were in a paddock outside of town.
Wily started to feed the horses and when nobody was around he jumped on the pony. The bar of the fence snapped but he was already on the horse so he went for a ride. The pony reared up, Willy caught her mane and Gem took off. Willy fell off Gem and Gem jumped the fence and went running into the woods.
Willy replaces the top bar of the fence with the middle bar soothe other horses can’t escape. Then willy runs through the forest, stopping every once in a while to whistle and call out Gem’s name.
The bell rings for the workers to be done at the mine. His father was about to go home and Willy couldn’t make it home before his father gets home. That means his father may take him out of school to go work in the mine.
Willy’s mother told him that he may not turn into a big man but you are smart enough that if you stay in school and study hard, you can be anything you want to be. But since his mom died five years ago, it is willy’s father who is looking after him.
Willy hides in a barn and hopes that everything will be better if he goes back tomorrow.
Sarah – I think he will still be forced to work in the mine unless his older sister will stand up with him against his father.
Robin – I think that his sister won’t stand up with him because she is afraid of her father. I think that Gem will come back sooner or later.
Child labour is really scary. Let’s find out when child labour was outlawed in Canada for our next post.
Will was late because he was looking at the ponies coming off a boat to work in the coal mines. The ponies were from Sable Island. Sable island is an island off the coast of Nova Scotia.
Wild ponies live on sable island. Here is a picture of some of the ponies
Will and his family live in Cape Breton in 1902. Will has two younger sisters and one older sister. He also has an older brother named John who started working with his father in the coal mines when he was 14. John was very proud of working and being treated like an adult.
This is the first chapter of Pit Pony that we have listened to. In this chapter we met a boy named Will. Will really likes horses. Any kind you can name or have heard of Will will know at least one more name than you, unless you are the horse.
In this chapter William is late coming back from school again. Normally, he would get a thrashing and then be sent to bed without his supper. But today is a different day, it’s his birthday. His birthday is October 12th. He did not get a bad spanking and sent to bed without supper. He got his favorite meal and a very bad present from his father. The present was, a growling. If we was late from school once more, he would be taken out of school and sent down to do mining at age 11.