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(short story of 1603 words)

The Green Coat


by Sheila Ryan

A young girl from a poor family walks to and from her job in a factory in clothes ill suited to the cold winter weather. Her father, despite their lack of money, thinks something should be done about this.

"The siren sounded the end of another long working day. Mary pulled her brown woollen cardigan from its peg and wrapped it around her thin body. It did little to keep out the biting December winds. Her shawl kept the chill from her ears though, as she hurried her familiar route home through the main street. Keep your head covered for modesty and warmth her mother had always said. God forbid I should need modesty. I could dress like the gentry and no fella would look twice, Mary thought as she wrestled with the weather. The neighbours were always standing, arms clasped across their bosoms, shaking their heads at the poor plain child as she passed. Still, wasn't she a grand help around the house they muttered..."


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