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Canadian Life as I Found It
Chapter XXXVI February, 1907


WE have, thank God, weathered the winter very fairly hitherto, and this week we have had lovely sunshine—such a treat after the fearful cold of the past month; the deep snow made it worse by increasing the difficulty of looking after the stock.

If all the people coming out this year knew what this winter has been like, they would turn back to the homeland if they could, I think.

I have been taking advantage of this fine spell to get up a good lot of wood, for I expect this is only a lull in the storm, and bad weather will come on before long.

My wife and the boy have only been able to go out of the house four times since last November; it is weary work for them being shut in for so long.

I hear that Saskatoon is all right for fuel now, but at one time it was in a bad way. At some places down the line they held up the trains to get fuel and stores, and at one place the settlers threatened to smash up the cars for firewood. We, at any rate, were a little better off on the prairie.

Wolves have been very plentiful this winter, but so far I have not succeeded in killing one. I had a shot at one, but it was nearly four hundred yards off. I missed it, but gave it a big scare. Luckily they are very cowardly creatures, and are easily frightened away.

Game has been very scarce; I have scarcely shot any, although I always carry a gun or rifle. I hope to get a few grouse later on as the weather gets milder.

I am very glad now that I have had no wheat to team into market; our neighbours who had some loads have had a most trying time.

Our nearest bush for cutting wood is four miles away, and I can assure you that in winter we find it quite far enough to travel.

The prairie is quite bare of trees. This, of course, is a great advantage to settlers, as there is no clearing to do before beginning to break the land; but in winter the absence of trees allows the wind to sweep down upon us in its full fury, and in summer we feel acutely the want of shade, so I have planted a few trees, but at present they are only about 2 feet high, hardly high enough to be able to smoke one's pipe under but it is interesting to watch their growth.


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