Ottawa's Festival of Ideas Since 1997

The Keepers

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sarah Willams. She lived with her parents named Harry and Caroline. She had a sister named Ellie and a brother named Greg. They lived in Ottawa in 1880s. Everyday Sarah and Ellie went to their school named Ottawa school. Greg helped his father everyday on their farm. One day when Sarah and Ellie came home from school, their parents looked sad. “Why aren’t you at the sawmill?” Sarah asked. He worked there everyday.”Mr.Thompson let us leave early today.” Harry said. But it looked like he didn’t even go. His blond hair was tucked under his beige hat. But everyday when he comes home, he puts his hat in the barn. “Tell me the truth...” Sarah said.

“Fine,” Harry said. “A little while ago, Fiona Smith went missing. Most people thought she was just running away from her strict parents. But, earlier today, Emma Johnson also went miss- ing. We think they may have gotten kidnapped! We’re scared that will happen to you two. Or more kids!” “We’ll be okay right?” Ellie asked. “Don’t asked a question like that!” Sarah said.” “Sorry...” Ellie said. Ellie was always kind to anyone she ever met. So Sarah felt a bit bad about saying that. “Yes sweetie, we will all be alright.” Harry said. “I promise...” But a second later they heard a loud knocking noise against their house. When they looked out the window, nobody was there. “Maybe Greg is playing jokes on us.” Sarah suggested.” “What am I doing?!” Greh said. He came from his bedroom. “Well, if it wasn’t Greg, who was it?” Caroline said. “That’s it!” Harry said. “Our farm isn’t safe enough for us anymore.


“Do you want to play outside?” Elizabeth asked Sarah. “Sure!” Sarah replied. Elizabeth Miller was their neighbour and Sarah’s best friend. They went outside and ran up the hill that was placed in front of theWillam’s house. “Race you to the school house!” Elizabeth said. Once they arrived they tried to open the school door. “Ms. Bessie always lets us in after school. But, when they pulled on the door many times it still didn’t open. “That’s so weird...” Elizabeth said. “Let’s look in a window!” Sarah said. But when they looked all the curtains were blocking the view. “Who’s there?”

Said a voice that was quiet, but still very scary. Sarah and Elizabeth felt a cold shiver go up their spines. Elizabeth gave Sarah a look that seemed like: Should we run? But, as much Sarah wanted run, her feet didn’t move. Neither did her arms . She just wanted to go home. She closed her eyes and tried to imagine her family beside her. But when she reached her hand out no one was there. But, when she opened her eyes she wasn’t outside the school anymore. Instead she was inside it. “Hel- lo???” Sarah said. But, no one replied. Elizabeth wasn’t inside. Sarah couldn’t see Elizabeth anywhere. “ Maybe she ran away.” Sarah thought. She got up from the cold floor she was lying. Next to her was the long desk she always sat at. In the room she saw some familiar faces. “Fiona! Emma! Is that you?” Sarah yelled. They both nodded but they didn’t say anything. Up where their teacher normally sat was the man who Sarah saw earlier. Watching over them. Sarh whispered: “ What’s going to happen?” But just when she said that, the old classroom door crashed down.

“Who’s there?” Said a man with a familiar voice. But so much dust was everywhere because of the door. “Me, Fiona and Emma.” Sarah yelled. “Come here.” The familiar voice said when I got closer I realised was my dad. “Go outside.” Harry said. Outside there was my family, the Miller’s, Emma’s family and Fiona’s family. Meanwhile inside Harry arrested the kidnapper. “Come with me.” Harry said. He brought him far away to the forest and then Harry ran far away. When he got back, his family was very happy to see him. “How did you find us in the school?” Sarah asked. “ Your friend, Elizabeth, told us.” Caroline said. That night everyone was invited for dinner at the Willam’s. Everyone thanked Elizabeth. Then the very next day all the kids went back to school.