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By Mical Schneider

To flee the Irish potato famine of the 1840s, twelve-year-old Annie and her brother to migrate to ny urban the place they sign up for their older sister as servants, making a living to carry the remainder of their kinfolk to the US, the place they notice that either nutrition and hardships abound.

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When the sea was calm, Annie brought her fiddle on deck and played for Thomas and Ellen and William. Sometimes William danced, and Ellen said if Thomas and Annie thought William were a fine dancer on ship, they should have seen him at home in Galway. He was a great one. Annie considered the ship a musical instrument in itself. She tucked herself between cargo boxes on deck 31 and listened for hours. The wind sang in the rigging, hummed through the chains, and snapped the sails. Waves slapped the sides of the boat, and high on the crossbars, the seamen chanted, trimmed, and hauled.

Serious business, the fever. ” Annie eased the shillings out of her hem, and with each coin the cook ladled out a bit more water. When all but the last shilling was spent, she held up her hand. ” the cook asked. “Yes,” Annie said. She was close to tears, but she wouldn’t cry, and she wouldn’t let him take all her money. “Good,” said the cook. He locked the water barrel. 35 “Remember, your brother was sick, and I gave you your ration early. Mention the shillings to anyone, and I’ll have you hauled before the captain.

43 “County Cork,” he said. He dropped his bottlegreen eyes to where the toes of her cracked boots turned up from their unstitched soles. ” Annie said. Her family might be suffering, but they weren’t, at least not yet, the wretched beggars she had seen in Galway. ” Well, they’d had a cow, even if she’d been gone for over a year. They’d have her still, if the hunger hadn’t come. ” the boy said with a mock bow. ” He winked knowingly and tipped his stovepipe hat over one eye, revealing the greasy stain where his fingers’ constant touch had shined the brim dull green.

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