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A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett first published in 1905 - LWT 1986
It is a cold Winter's morning. Sara cuddles up with Emily as she is awoken by Becky. Sara is dressed in an old black dress. She is late down for breakfast but she is not down to eat. Miss Minchin informs her that her duties now extend to looking after the smaller younger children and that she must ensure they do not waste food. Miss Minchin also orders Sara to call her mum since she will be looking after her. Some of the nastier girls smile at each other happy that Sara is suffering.
Lottie cannot believe that Sara is now poor but Sara tells her that at least she has a room and is inside as opposed to begging. Miss Minchin informs Sara that she must carry out her chores throughout the day and then later on in the evening she may take books and concentrate on her studies. She must then report to cook in the kitchens who delights in the news that Sara is now working class. Cook gets Sara to scrub the floors and it will spoil her pretty little hands.
Miss Amelia, is concerned about Sara and asks her sister if she thinks that Cook may be pushing her too hard. Miss Minchin blames Sara for all the debts she has accrued. Amelia is much kinder than her sister but us easily led and her concerns fall on deaf ears. Up in her room a very unhappy Sara befriends a large rat that has appeared since she was downstairs.
Back in India, the late Captain Crewe's house and belongings have been purchased by an unknown person or persons. All of the furniture, books and other items are carefully packed up and transferred to Delhi in storage. One item though, a statue of Kali is to packaged and transported to England.
Back in England, Sara is helping Lottie and the younger children with their studies. Later running errands for cook, Sara sees a soldier in uniform that reminds her of her late father. She looks at all the fruit and food but knows she cannot have any of it.
Later still Sara and Lottie are in Sara's room looking out of the window. Sara tells Lottie that the window to the left belongs to the other house next to the school.
The seasons pass and Sara is starting to look weary and tired with all the work she has been set to carry out. She works long into the night carrying parcels and picking up errands that cook and Miss Minchin has told her to do. She is not eating enough and has not been eating a balanced diet so she is starting to look very ill.
The Story in Six Parts