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Everyone Abandons Poor Girl in Old House until Soldier Appears and She Recognizes His Scar — Story of the Day

Manuela Cardiga
Jun 10, 2022
06:59 A.M.
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An eleven-year-old girl ends up abandoned in her family home after her siblings and her parents leave her and forges a new life for herself.

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It's hard to imagine a harder life than May Wilson's. May was the third child of Lila and Don Wilson -- a late arrival at the set of a family tragedy so extreme that some will think it fiction.

Lila and Don had married when she was just fourteen and he was in his thirties, something which is unfortunately legal in many states. Her parents had been eager to dispatch her, Don eager to marry.

No one asked Lila what she wanted. She was one less mouth to feed in a household of eleven. So she went on to live her own drama, and to add three unfortunate victims to Don's list: Billy, Delia, and May.

The old farm had been in the family for generations. | Source: Unsplash

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The couple lived on a small farm that Don had inherited from his father, and his father from his father before him, for more generations than anyone could remember.

Don't imagine a well-kept and tended little farm with a red barn and cows in the meadow. The farm bordered wetlands and no one in the Wilson family had bothered to plant a crop in fifty years.

Never give up, there is always hope.

The harvest consisted mostly of moonshine and mosquitos, and pain for Lila and her children. Don was a small, wiry man, with a red face and angry fists and he liked to use them.

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At first, Lila was his only target, but as Billy and Delia grew older, they came to suffer his anger too. When Billy was six and Delia was five, May was born.

Shortly after May's birth, another source of aggravation was added to Lila's life. She started receiving visits from social workers who insisted her children go to school.

Lila married Don when she was just fourteen. | Source: Pexels

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Lila would receive them with a sullen pout and a cigarette dangling between her lips, holding May to her breast. "They don't have shoes," Lila told the social worker. "So they can't walk to school."

The social worker was appalled and wrote it down in her notebook. "The nearest school is 12 miles away," she explained. "It's impossible for such young children..."

"Their daddy don't want them to go," she said and turned her back and walked into the dilapidated old house. The social worker was a stubborn woman so she decided to wait for Don Wilson.

She sat on the porch until dusk, and after suffering through a frightening and withering blast of Don's fury, she left, never to return. The next year, the Wilson case was passed on to someone new, but all it ever took was one visit.

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No one, not even the sheriff, ever came back for a second serving of Don's rage. Funnily enough, the one person Don never ranted at was May. He never struck her, never even screamed at her.

Don was an angry man and his children suffered. | Source: Pexels

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May somehow struck a tender chord in Don's heart, but that didn't stop her from witnessing the misery her mother and her siblings suffered at his hands.

When May was six, Lila left. She simply went with Don on a rare trip to the nearby town and never came back. She vanished when he went into a store to buy a fishing line.

Don came back silent, and when the two older children asked about their mother, he made sure they never asked again. Billy was twelve, and Delia was eleven, and they took over Lila's sporadic housework and cooking.

Three years later, Delia ran away, and fifteen-year-old Billy took the brunt of Don's anger. "Useless!" he screamed. "Like your mother!" Frightened, Billy backed away from his father and fell.

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He hit his face against the old cast-iron woodstove and gashed his cheek open. May had rushed in and stood in front of her brother. "Stop it, daddy!" she cried. "Please, please!"

May's sister Delia left when she was fourteen. | Source: Unsplash

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The sight of her huge, frightened eyes somehow stopped Don in his tracks. He turned his back and walked out, leaving the little girl to help her brother.

Two years later, May woke up in the middle of the night to find Billy sitting on her bed. "May," he whispered. "I'm leaving. I have to, but I promise you this, I'm coming back for you, no matter what, OK?"

May sat up and bit trembling lips. "You promise?" she whispered.

"I promise," Billy said. "And you know I never break my promises."

Eleven-year-old May was left alone with Don. For the next six months, peace reigned in the dilapidated, ramshackle house. Don took May fishing with him and even taught her to lay snares and hunt with his old rifle.

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At sixteen, Billy ran away. | Source: Pexels

Then, one day, Don simply didn't come home. May was terrified. How was she to live? When she ran out of food, she went fishing and hunting.

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She started taking the rabbits she snared to their nearest neighbor, an elderly woman who'd often traded sugar, flour, and oil to Don for the fresh meat.

"How's your daddy?" the old woman would ask.

"He's just fine, Miss Rita," May would say. "He's just that busy!"

The woman never questioned Don's absence, and sometimes she'd give May a slice of cake, and once she gave her a box of old books that had been her children's.

That winter, May taught herself to read. She survived. When the social worker visited that year, May hid in the woods at the back of the house until she went away.

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Don taught May how to fish and hunt. | Source: Unsplash

She sometimes wept in her loneliness and thought about walking to town and going to the sheriff, but then she remembered Billy's promise.

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May told herself stories about the woods and the animals. She traded for paper and pencils with Mrs. Rita and then she started writing them down.

She started wearing Delia's old dresses when hers grew too small, but Billy still didn't come. May was now sixteen-years-old and she'd been alone for five years.

One afternoon, she heard the sound of a car and immediately hid. The only people who ever drove up were social workers and the sheriff, and those visits were never welcome.

She watched as the car stopped and a tall man stepped out. He was wearing a uniform and he walked up to the house and knocked on the door.

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May was left all alone for five years. | Source: Pixabay

He pushed the door open and walked in. "May?" she heard him call, then he walked out and the sunlight fell on his face. May saw the silvery scar on his left cheek and cried out. "Billy!"

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"I'm here, May!" Billy cried, holding his sister tight. "I promised, didn't I? I came back for you!"

Billy kept his promise and took May away. In the last five years, he'd gone looking for Delia and Lila. He'd found Delia and she was happy and married, but Lila was dead.

Billy had joined the army as soon as he was eighteen, and he could now take care of May. "I want you to go to school, May," Billy said. "I want you to learn to write and read..."

"I can read and write," May told him proudly and gave him one of the notebooks she'd been writing in. Billy started reading, and soon, tears were running down his face.

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The stories May had written were published. | Source: Unsplash

"This is beautiful, May!" he cried.

He sent her stories to a publisher and he and May were astounded when he replied. He wanted to publish May's stories, and he wanted her to write more.

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May had taken her pain and loneliness and sadness and written tender, heartbreaking stories about animal families who had everything she'd longed for -- peace, love, and support.

There was one thing that May's animal characters did that few people do: like Billy, they always kept their word, and they were always kind.

What can we learn from this story?

  • Never give up, there is always hope. May was very afraid, but she never stopped believing her brother would return, and she always did her best.
  • Always keep your promises, they are precious. Billy ran away, but when he had a stable life, he came back for May, just like he promised her.
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If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a young girl who abandons her grandmother and steals her earrings to travel to Los Angeles to become a star.

This account is inspired by our reader’s story and written by a professional writer. Any resemblance to actual names or locations is purely coincidental. All images are for illustration purposes only. Share your story with us; maybe it will change someone’s life. If you would like to share your story, please send it to info@amomama.com

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