For Children

Gabrielle Herzig

Lin Lin's Silk Road Diary

2009 3rd-4th Grade Prose Winner

July 14, 1227

Dear Diary,

I've been traveling in the Taklamakan Desert for four days now, and today Papa and I finally arrived at Kashgar. He says that we are going to trade our goods for loads of silk. So much that on the way back to Chang'an I can wear a scarf to protect my eyes from the sand. Having sand in your eyes, makes them water, tingle and burn! It is like a bug just flew into your eye-lid! We already have traded with an old Turkish man that we met on our journey through the desert. We gave him some pearls and in exchange he gave us silk. The silk is bright violet and has green vines with yellow lilies. He also gave us some ripe oranges that we can eat on our way back home.

When we were in the desert it was so hot I felt like my skin could peel off any moment, just like dust does when you blow at it. Since we arrived at Kashgar I haven't seen very many women or children like me. I wonder why that is? I must be the most courageous of all! Our camel Kune, (that is what I named him) always kisses my face to cool me down. But the thing is, he spits a lot. If we are lucky a breeze will hit us in the evening and we will be able to sleep happily.

Tomorrow we will trade with one of Papa's old friends from a small island off of Italy called Sicily. I hope that Papa's friend tells me about his native land.

Day 2

Dear Diary,

Today I woke up to the sound of people singing. By the time we were up and out of bed, the celebration was over. We didn't get to join the fun.

Papa and I were not sure what to eat for breakfast so we tried the oranges that the old Turkish man gave us. They were divine! They must have been from Australia. Later in the afternoon we met Papa's old friend. His name was Luca Dandalo. He had a curvy mustache that almost touched his nose when he smiled. He reminded me of a Magician that I saw on the streets of Hong Kong. He told me all about Sicily, just like I wanted. When we met him he was wheeling a wheel barrel full of Silk! There were red scarves with fierce orange tigers, turquoise skirts just the right size for me, and the most memorable of all was an orange scarf which had pink and brown flowers, that reminded me of Mama.