Compositions Circa 1928 (Part One)

I have a scribbler that belonged to my mother in 1928 in which she wrote stories for English Composition.  She would have been eleven years old.  They are done with a fountain pen, or with a pencil, or sometimes with a combination of both.  The pencil lead broke, the inkwell went dry – who knows.  The penmanship is sometimes exquisite, and sometimes a hurriedly scrawled mess with a careless spelling mistake or two.  I think these must have been assigned subjects, because some of them are less enthusiastically done than others.  No matter.   I’m just thrilled to be able to get a small glimpse of the child my mother used to be.

A Tramp In The Woods

“This is a very good year for nuts, isn’t it Marguerite?”  I asked one fine October morning.  “Let’s go to the bush after Saturday’s work is done.”  This was agreed to at once.

The Saturday’s work was done in a few hours.  And away we went after making up a small lunch.

The leaves were very pretty.  “If we would stand still or even sit here for awhile we would be covered in leaves,” I happened to say.  “Indeed we would”, said Marguerite.

We saw very many small animals and at last caught a small white rabiit that was lame.  It was a very nice pet.  After lunch we visited the Maple Syrup Camp, an old cave, and an owl’s home.

At last we were on our way home with the rabbit.  We were all as hungry as bears.  But as happy as larks.

*****

A Tramp Coming To Our Home

One fine summer afternoon mother asked me to stay at home while she went to town.  I said I would.  As my favourite pastime was reading, I sat behind the table and read a very interesting book called “Edna’s Escape”.  In a little while I heard a rap at the door.  It made me shiver for I had been reading about the awful time Edna had been having.  All I could do was to go to the door and this I dreaded.  But at last I gained courage and went.

There in front of me was an ugly tramp.  Mother often said that tramps are dangerous.  I made up my mind to take no chances.  “Well my girl, you are a regular housekeeper.  What are you going to do when you are big?” the tramp began.

“Well I don’t think that’s for me to tell”  I said.  The tramp frowned at me.  “But what do you want?” I said.

“A match, a piece of bread, and any other things you have”, said the tramp.  “What do you want with all these things?”  said I.  “I want the match to light my pipe, and the bread to eat, of course”  “But where is your pipe?” I said.  The tramp turned and walked to the other side of the door and then he said “Get me the bread.  Then I will tell.”  I went and got a loaf of bread.  He smacked his lips and said “Give it to me.”  I gave it to him.  He turned around very quickly and said as he went away “I’ve got the bread now.  I’ll come back for the matches another day.”  He then disappeared down the lane.

I thought he had played a good trick on me.  I never saw him again, nor he never came back for his matches.

Margaret Elaine Scott, 1928.

When the Lights Flicker and Die

Candles in the Dark

How do I occupy my time when there’s a power outage? Funny you should ask – this has been the summer of the thunderstorm here. We’re trying to remember how many days we’ve had without any rain at all – maybe three in July? Not that there haven’t been beautiful hot sunny days because there have been lots of those. The thunderstorms just roll on in, boom away, pour the rain down in buckets, and then roll on out again. Daily. Sometimes twice a day. It’s getting so old, trying to remember where you put that umbrella from eight hours ago. Haven’t had to wash my car at ALL – nature’s been doing all these great power washes, so that’s a big plus. But I digress. Back to the point, because I’m sure there’s one in here somewhere.

When the lights go out I’ve found it’s a good idea to have the following things handy:

1. A fully charged lap top.

2. Lots of candles. Although I’ve noticed they’re not all that useful if you’ve forgotten where you put the matches.

3. A good book and a good flashlight.

4. A big window and a comfy chair. Watching lightning can be a breathtaking experience.

5. A non-electric can opener. You can prop up a wire rack and put a pan on top of it and a candle underneath to warm something up – but you gotta get that something out of the can first.

6. A list of all the clocks in your house, and some kind of mathematical plan on how to run around resetting them so that they’re all the same. And when you get that figured out could you please share it with me, because every clock in my house says something different.

7. And MOST IMPORTANT: somebody to freak out with when it’s all over. OMG, we were without power for almost 45 minutes!! It was just so unbelievably AWFUL, you have no IDEA!!! They’re going to try to up your story, so make it a good one.

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