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The Mysterious old Woman Who Danced by Ella Bonaldi, age 10, Ireland

1. At the bus stop.

I was coming home from school one day, when I saw an old lady standing at the bus stop staring at the road , clutching a teal handbag with long bony quivering fingers.

She was dressed in a lovely expensive dress and her hair tied back in a perfect bun.

She looked like she was going somewhere special. I stared at her but she didn’t see me.

I wondered who this woman at the bus stop was.

2. Dancing With The Dead

Months later I was still thinking about the the woman at the bus stop when I was passing an old house.

I heard soft silky music coming from inside. I wondered what it was, I peeked in.

I stood there, my mouth open. It was the old woman from the bus stop!

This time her hair was wisping down her forehead and she was wearing a purple dress.

I felt scared she would see me, but something made me stay.

She was dancing so gracefully, so beautifully; she was all alone.

It felt like she was dancing with the dead.

3. Me.

I’m Sam (short for Samantha) I live with my brother Niall, my Mum and Lego my dog.

My Mum runs a big business so Niall has to look after me.

He usually goes out with his friends, so it’s just me and Lego most of the time.

He’s missing a leg because he saved a fox from getting hit and risked his own life.

I picked him from the rescue centre because i knew he was special, and he is.

4.The Dancer’s Story

One day when I was walking Lego I saw the woman again, she was standing beside the road shivering and a look of fear in her eye.

I plucked up the courage to ask her if she was all right.

When I asked her she smiled and said “That’s the sweetest thing any body has ever said to me. I was just trying to get across this damn road”.

She beamed her smile down on me, before I knew it I was smiling too.

When we had crossed she asked me if i’d like to have a cup of tea with her at her house. I agreed.

Suddenly my bag started ringing.

The old lady said I should take it. I checked who it was. Of course it was mum.

Finally the music died out. “Its okay just a friend”  I said quickly.


I knew mum wouldn’t have approved. Sure enough it was the house I had seen her dancing in.

5 .Tea Biscuits and the truth.

I settled in a chair made of leather. Lego settled by the fire, his coat shimmering.

“What happened to your poor mutt’s leg?” the lady asked.

When the tea was ready I told her. She beamed again “Two kind people coming together, girl and dog”.

I looked around the room again this time I saw a black and white photograph hanging on the wall in an oak frame, they were all smiling.

“Is that your family?” I asked politely.

“Yes it was” she said sadly. “They all went on holiday to an island, I was no good with boats, I get terribly sea sick so I stayed here.

“There was a storm at sea and I never saw them again”.

I almost jumped into her arms and hugged her, but instead I contained myself and politely changed the subject for her “I am so sorry. What was your career?”

“I was a dancer, I did shows , I travelled and became famous . I went to France, Africa, Siberia.. anywhere you could think of.

Here I’ll show you a picture “she rummaged around in a shelf near where she was sitting and said “Aha here!”

I looked at the picture and said in disbelief “You’re the most famous dancer in the world ! You’re Martha Jones”

6 . Saying hello and goodbye.

I kept visiting Martha after school, a few years later Martha got cancer and “passed on” as she liked to say.

She left me her wedding ring and a Morroccan scarf. She meant so much to me.

I know she’s still there because she’s the Mysterious Old Woman Who Danced.

Name: Ella Bonaldi
Age: 10
Country: Ireland

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