The chilling vignettes of Santino Cavallin

The chilling vignettes of Santino Cavallin


i am 5 years old, and wake up at 3:00 am. why you may ask: well i work as a shrimp picker in misissippi.

it’s not the best job but it keeps me and my brother alive.

i spend my day peeling the shells off iced shrimp— i am one of the thousand kids here. i don’t have many friends but i don’t really need any.

most of the kids here aren’t really nice, i want to believe that it is because they had a rough childhood but i am not sure.

my apron helps me stay clean and not get the stinky smell of shrimp on me, it is all dirty and covered in dark big stains of blood and holes, I cut my fingers a lot picking the shrimp, sometimes i wish that my mommy was here to help me, the holes are so big that my head can go through them.I would like a new one but people say that they will beat you if you do.

i’ve always wanted to know what it is like to get out of mississippi and explore the world. you do a lot of exploring when you are alone and the only thing you do is peel the shells of iced shrimp.

sometimes i lay my head onto the sticky smelly shells and look at the dim blue sky, i wonder what it would be like to…get out…or at least have a way out. I normally see kids running on the beach or playing cards inside there little cozy house, and I want to take my stinky apron off and run to go play with them without worrying about anyone or anything, but I can’t…I can’t because I will die if I do so.

Kids at work, Lewis Hine

I hate my life

The definition of laziness: Kids. I pay these kids 2 dollars a week to work. It’s not much but don’t they know how lucky they are?

All they do is talk and more talk. And when they do work-witch trust me is not often- they do everything wrong. Is it really that hard to put a teddy bear in a box then seal it in under 5 seconds…I think not. I give these kids a roof, and warm clothes, what else do they want… a teddy bear for their own? Kids.

Every time I go to inspect them they immediately stop chatting and start working.Do they think I am blind or deaf,

some of my employees are but not me!

Sometimes I ponder how sad my life really is…I supervise kids 5 hours a day and only make 100 dollars a week. I wish I was like Bob..he is my boss… he makes 500 dollars a week just by shouting at people, meanwhile I have the HARDEST JOB!

I wish I had a better life.


Dad told me to always be tough and persevere through life. But I give up. I don’t want to wake up everyday at 6am to make toys, I don’t want to get screamed at again, I don’t want to have this life. But I need it. I want a life where I can talk to bob without getting slapped, I want a life where i can make my own choices, I want a life that brings me joy. I want a life where black people are accepted and not neglected. My mom always told me that black people aren’t any different than white people, but if that is true why are they telling it and not showing it. What. What is something that I have been wondering for a long time– what have we done to deserve this; this pain, this frightness of walking outside, this disrespect. I don’t wish to have a life where I am white, I don’t wish to have a life where we are better than whites, I wish to have a life where we are all the same.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *