This was essentially a Book Report assignment that my grade 8 teacher gave me. It basically summarizes the book from chapter 6-10 chapters of the book Underground to Canada, by Barbara Smucker via Book Report format. This should be quite use full for students under TDSB Scarborough area.
=========================January 7, 2008 Danish KhanFirst Steps WritingCH 6-10 RecountStolen and ripped away from her loving mother, Julilly travels in a wooden cart with other slaves from Massa Hensen's plantation and finally arrives at the Deep South. A place most feared by all slaves. There she meets a young girl named Liza who becomes her best friend. In the new plantation she is forced to work in the hot fields to pick cotton forever. With little to eat and small amount of sleep, Julilly thrives to escape to freedom. Days later a mysterious white man from Canada appears who changes the fate of Julilly and her friend Liza as he helps them escape to Canada, where freedom would happily greet the two of them.
Arriving at the new plantation was a big surprise for Julilly. The slaves at Massa Riley's plantation were thin and frail. The kids had caved in cheeks and thin legs. They were like living skeletons made to work under frightfully dangerous circumstances. The small children were fed like pigs that sucked their food from a trough. An old lady led Julilly into her sleeping cabin. This was where she met Liza a young girl who looked like an old women with a bent back and beaten legs with many bruises. Liza was the only one who offered any kind of welcome to Julilly. They talked for a long time, about how the slave owners treated their slaves like pigs and workhorses. Liza warned her about Sims and how he was the head of the slave quarters. She told her that he had whipped her when she tried to run away. Then they talked about Canada. Liza knew about this country of freedom. It wasn't long before the discussion stopped and the two girls were asleep in their rags.
It seemed like only a few minutes had passed before Julilly heard the morning bell. She woke up and found Liza had already woken up. Liza took her hand and they headed outside to eat their breakfast. After that Julilly noticed that the slaves got another small bundle of food, surprised she quickly began to munch away at it. "It's lunch," informed Liza. Keeping the rest of the meal, she walked slowly towards the fields with Liza leading the way. They worked in the fields for the whole afternoon. The sun was high in the sky when the tall, orange haired, white man from Canada arrived at the plantation. He claimed to be an ornithologist, a bird watcher. He had come to study the birds around the plantation. As he was talking to Sims, Julilly stopped picking cotton and started to stare at the tall white Canadian. Sims noticed that she wasn't picking cotton so he quickly whipped Julilly. The pain was unimaginable. Sims raised his hand once more but this time, the tall white Canadian grabbed his hand and led down the row quickly. The strange white Canadian was in Julilly's for the rest of the day. She had filled her sac and took it to the measuring room to measure if it was a hundred pounds. Liza told her that Sims would whip anyone twenty-five times if they did not meet the measure. The coming of Mr. Ross unsettled the slaves and whispers of the event with Mr. Ross and his coming flew like the wind from one-cotton rows to the other.
Sims had granted Mr. Ross two slaves to help him help with his bird watching. Julilly stopped picking for just a brief moment to see whom Mr. Ross had picked. The slaves he had chosen were Lester and Adam. Full of astonishment, Julilly again put her tired hands to pick the cotton bolls. Julilly knew that she wanted to talk to Lester about this strange man. Sunday was coming up; she decided to talk to him then. It was dusk when the picking and weighing was done. Mr. Ross soon came from his bird watching. Julilly and Liza trudged along with the other slaves back to the slave cabins for what little dinner they got. That night many of the girls talked of rumors about Canada. Most of them were very terrifying. They other slave girls did not know about the freedom that the Canadian government had set out for them. Freedom. The word all slaves thrived for.
At last, Sunday had arrived. Julilly and Liza were sitting beside the boiling kettle of clothes. They had long sticks with which they beat the dirt out of their clothes. After a little while of beating and stirring, Julilly noticed Lester out of the corner of her eye. He motioned for her to come behind a row of trees so she could talk with him. Julilly went as she was instructed. Lester told her that Mr. Ross wasn't really a bird watcher. He was actually an abolitionist and a part of the Underground Railroad. He told her about a meeting that Mr. Ross had organized. She, Liza, Lester and Adam were to meet there. Lester told her to listen to the three call of the whippoorwill and come meet him right under the tree they were standing near. Lester left her. Julilly walked back the kettle to tell Liza what Lester had told her. That night, Lester was true to his word and sounded the three calls of the whiperwool. Julilly and Liza headed out and followed Lester to the meeting. The meeting was quick and brief. Mr. Ross told the four of them about the escape, and asked each of them if they were truly up to the challenge of escaping. The four of them accepted the conditions they were going to travel in. Slave catchers and bloodhounds were going to be the beginning of their problems. The next meeting would take place one week from that fateful day. Julilly and Liza were waiting.
The meeting was important, Julilly knew. She and Liza would soon be on the long and hard road to freedom. Road to Canada. For the next few days, the two girls avoided trouble, went to bed early and saved a bit of food whenever they could for they journey. On Saturday, dark storm clouds had drifted into the sky. This had worried Julilly. If a storm stirred up, the North Star would be covered with the storm clouds. She wondered if they would still runaway. When night came, the wind from the north blew away the coulds. The North Star was visible once again. The meeting was at midnight. The plan was simple. They would escape from their sleeping quarters and head for the swamp in the north. Then Julilly and Liza would throw their clothes in the water to fool the slave catchers into thinking that they had drowned, and then they would dress up as boys and Lester would cut their hair. After that they would travel by night and sleep at day untill they reach Tennessee. Mr. Ross would wait for them in Tennessee to lead them into the Underground Railroad. That night, they did as they were told. Crossed they swamp, changed clothes and headed North up the Mississippi river. The sun rose up into the sky, exhausted and very tired, they ate the catfish that Adam had caught in the river. They rested for a while, but soon Julilly heard the bloodhounds. Surprised and Frighted the four of them quickly grabbed what little they had and ran for their freedom.
As a slave, Julilly went through a lot of miserable experiences in her life. One of which was being ripped apart from her only family, her mother and arriving at the Deep South, which all slaves feared. Meeting with Liza was probably the only happy moment in her life. Thinking of Canada game her hope. But the coming of Mr. Ross and his meeting with the slaves would surely change the way Julilly would live in the future. A future of freedom or a future of getting caught like Liza, then whipped and beaten until her back was as bent as an arc and never be able to escape again. This story reminds me of a movie that I saw when I was in grade four or five. I was very little back then. The movie was called "Chicken Run." It was a story of a bunch of chickens that wanted to escape from the farm that they were in and live freely out in the prairies. Unfortunately the farmer had fenced the whole chicken yard and they were all chickens so they could no fly. In the end the chickens built a secret aircraft under the nose of the farmer and successfully managed to hide it from the farmer. The farmer was mean and cruel, kind of like Sims in the story. The farmers made pies out the bad chickens that didn't get enough eggs by the end of the week. Which was a lot like the measuring system from they story. The old people who did not meet the measure would receive twenty-five lashes from Sims. In this case the chicken without seven eggs would be fried and turned into a pie. The chickens did not like this. They wanted freedom and the only way they were going to get it was to fly over the fence and live somewhere far away from they farm. Which is exactly like how Julilly and Liza felt. They too wanted freedom and were more than happy to escape. The farmer however found the chicken's aircraft. The chicken's saw this and immediately packed away some food and prepared for take off! Julilly and Liza did the same, but in a different way. They saved food every day and escaped in the night. In the end the chickens were able to safely take off with their aircraft and landed somewhere far away where they finally got their freedom. Lester, Julilly and Liza probably did make it to Canada too. I am sure they got their freedom in the end.