Being locked up is never fun. There are so many things you want to do, yet so many things you can't do. You are with the same guys in the same room 24/7. Someone is always stepping on somebody's toes and there is no room to retire or find some peace and quiet.
That is why it is really important to find something that can lighten the mood ... something like... fairytales.
Fairytales can literally save peoples lives. Not necessarily only by living them, but also by hearing them. The problem is ... you need someone who can tell them ... in an unforgettable way.
Luckily, David Jacobs is one of the best storytellers in all of New York. Not that the boys will ever admit it, but really... you can't deny it. It's a gift he was born with.
So you could say it was luck when almost every Manhattan-newsie was arrested that David was one of them. ... Life was still hell though.
However, when David started telling his stories of Peter Pan, Alice in wonderland and all the others, you can be sure that every Newsie in the Refuge was lingering somewhere nearby listening intently.
Every night David positioned himself on one of the middle bunks and started telling his stories.
The younger newsies all gathered around close by his feet, hanging on every word he said. From time to time one of them asked a question and David answered it. He also made wild gestures and changed his voice for every new character to make his story even more exiting.
As for the others ...
Blink had his head in Mush's lap and let the other play with his hair. Once in a while he sighed contently, making Mush giggle.
Skittery and Snitch were holding hands; their attention on the story. From time to time Skittery whispered something in Snitch's ear, making the younger, more innocent, boy blush.
Dutchy had his head on Specs shoulder, not noticing how the other was fighting to hold back a smirk. Instead he snuggled deeper into the warmth of the other newsie.
Swifty was almost jumping David in his excitement, annoying both Jack and Snoddy who was holding on to him tightly.
Itey and Pie eater were snuggled together in the bunk above David spying down and nearly falling out when the suspense grew too much.
Race had taken his position between Spots legs, leaning back into the others chest, letting Spot tuck his head in the crook of Race's neck, so that he could hide the fact that he was enjoying the story more than he should ... not that Race didn't know.
And Jack ... Jack was hiding behind a corner, holding eye contact with David; waiting for the story to finish, so that he could have his own private story session.
The days went by, yet David's stories never seemed to grow old and they certainly helped the time fly by faster and the day of their discharge seem closer.
All the newsies agreed that having David with them in the Refuge was one of the best things that could happen.
The blue-eyed, cowboy-owned Newsie taught them ...
... that while they might be locked up behind these walls right now; their imagination can never be held captive.