Maggie May

Essay by melonismHigh School, 12th gradeA, September 2007

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The kid never had much going for him. It wasn’t easy growing up in a small country town. Everyone gossiped and decided the futures of the local kids based on their parent’s lives and choices. This kid was no different. He never had a decent role model. He didn’t have a father figure because his own was always in jail. People just expected him to turn out the same way or like his alcoholic uncle. It was the talk of his future that caused him to crack.

He was 15 when he started torching paddocks. The scent of burning kerosene must have soothed him because he always watched the paddocks ablaze. It was the watching that eventually caught him out by the police, one week before his 18th birthday. The judge sentenced him to 250 hours of community service so he could “think about what he had done”.

His caseworker stated he was the “most troublesome teenager” they had ever dealt with.

He was “lazy” and a “smart arse”. He always had to have the last word. This made it difficult for the caseworker to get him his service placement. Several days later an old farmer suggested that the kid do some labour on his farm. It was rather fitting since the farm was one of the first the kid had torched. The farmer was fair dinkum and he didn’t trust the kid as far as he could throw him. The two didn’t get along but there was something in it for both of them.

The kid always gave the farmer a decent amount of cheek but the farmer was constantly evening the score. This was new for the kid because he wasn’t used of having someone talk back to him. As a bully he was so used to feeling...