“LIZZIE!!” roared Mrs. Bradley. “Where are you?!” As quick as a flash, a small girl appeared in the doorway. “Sorry, Madam,” she mumbled, flattening her apron. “I’ll start dusting.”
“I should think so,” replied the housekeeper sternly. “We don’t tolerate lazy
good-for-nothing girls in this house. Start with the Library and carry on from there!” she commanded.
Scurrying off, Lizzie looked around, bewildered. She was new as a housemaid and this house was so big it was easy to get lost. Finally, she found it, The Library and gingerly she turned the doorknob to enter. Her jaw dropped open – there were books everywhere! She had never seen a room full of books before and Lizzie loved books. Her mother had taught her to read before she had died but they only had the one, a battered Bible with the pages falling out. Here they were hundreds, thousands; they covered every wall and reached up high to the ceiling.
Brushing a speck of dust off a gloomy old painting, something caught the girl’s eye. “Fashion Through the Ages” was written on the book’s spine. Creeping across the bright scarlet carpet, Lizzie looked cautiously around. “Please no-one come in,” she thought. Quickly she reached up and pulled the book from its place. Turning the first few pages, Lizzie’s mouth fell open. This was no Bible, there were bright coloured pictures of the most beautiful dresses, and under each one was a description of the style and material. Lizzie could not help herself. She slid the book under her apron. Surely nobody would notice one missing book. There must be thousands here. And, after all, she was only borrowing it. She would put it back tomorrow.
All the eyes of the huntsmen in the paintings seemed to be staring at her as Lizzie stumbled from the room.
Lizzie was shaking, she knew she would be in terrible trouble if found out – Mrs. Bradley had only the other day given Lizzie a clip round the ear for picking up a newspaper, “ That’s not for Girls!!” she’d bellowed.
She scurried through long red-carpeted corridors and darted down into the servants’ quarters. Constantly glancing round, she ran upstairs to the safety of her attic room, sat down on her bed and opened the book. It was beautiful, and soon the pictures and wonderful words made her forget about being a servant. She read the book hungrily and soon she was lost in a daydream as a fine lady, wearing the most perfect dress, heading off to a fashionable ball.
Suddenly her door flew open and a voice boomed out, shattering Lizzie’s dream. “And WHAT, may I ask, is THAT young lady?” As the dark shadow fell over her, Lizzie cowered in fear. The book slid from her lap and down onto the floor…
When wish upon a star.....