In Dugtown, that villainous hive of scum and wretchery, Sara and her orphans have made a cozy home. Sometimes we find ourselves in villainous places, and we are powerless to change the villainy. But we don’t have to live in fear. And a cozy place where we can love and be loved can push back that fear so that it stays in the street outside.
Sara hurried through Dugtown with Borley at her side, feeling less safe than she had in months. It was as if everyone she saw was a Strander in disguise, as if every wall or trashbox or alleyway was in fact the entrance to a burrow into which anyone could be abducted at any moment. As if the Fangs on the other side of the Blapp weren’t dangerous enough, now Gammon said there were spies and treachers right here in Dugtown.
Sara and Borley passed the Flabbit’s Paw, then made their way up Grimppity Avenue to the barracks where Sara’s orphans stayed.
The building had once been a linen factory called Thimble Thumb’s Threads. Fangs had made a wreck of the place in the years after the inva- sion, but the orphans had made quick work of cleaning it out and cutting sheets and blankets from the piles of discarded linen in the basement. The children were well used to hard work in the Fork Factory, and had been so desperate for a place to call their own that in a week’s time Thimble Thumb’s had been transformed into the coziest spot in Dugtown.
As Sara climbed the front steps she heard singing inside—this wasn’t unusual, except that the children’s voices were now accompa- nied by the soaring melody of a whistleharp skillfully played. Borley smiled at Sara and opened the door.
Something to think about: How can we make welcoming places for each other?
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