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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 26, 1972, Lethbridge, Alberta Saturday, February 26, 197) THE LETHBRIDCt HERALD 5 Margaret Luckhursl Young pioneers head for the open spaces QNE o( the strange contra- dittions of Canadian life today is that while many farm- ers are leaving their unproduc- tive way of life lo seek work in the city, large numbers of young people arc rejecting ur- ban living in favor of settling on small holdings in rural ares'S. where several young families pool Iheir slender capital, work ef- fort and baby sitting problems, have sprung up near Toronto. These are not hippy havens for dropouls, although some of them will doubtless not escape this stigma. Patterned after the Quaker system of sharing, in the mod- em commune there is little in the nature of cash resources. The philosophy is to attempt lo survive on a primitive back-lo- tho-land has! s. Professional farmers flatly stale this can't be done, and they probably will prove Lo be correct in the long run. These young people, how- ever, represent a new breed who are not looking to large bank accounts and the accumu- lation of material possessions. Hather, tlwy arc searching for old-fashioned individual iden- tity nnd a lilllo personal free- dom. When asked what Ilic pur- pose is behind such a complete reversal of the average Cana- dian lifestyle, they are some- times uncertain themselves how to define it, but are qiu'te positive on one point. Urban living, wilh its high pressure comppfili'on and (rcadmill rou- tine, balds no interest for them surf they arc willing lo sacrifice a few of tlic accepted comforts in exchange for the challenge of rural living. Ontario isn't the only prov- ince where Ihis trend is in mo- tion. Around Winnipeg. Calgary and Vancouver, young couples more and more are looking for homes out of the city, or in smaller towns within commut- ing distance of Lheir work. Communes as surfi haven't caught on yet in the west, but the idea of working in the cily and living in the country is in- creasing in popularily as much here as it is elsewhere. Indeed it is spreading so rapidly that it's getting liai'd for young peo- ple to find properly at a rea- sonable price and a. reasonable distance from their place of work. Our own daughter and her husband couldn't gel out of (he cjty fast enough aflcr Iheir marriage nearly a year ago. Although our son-in-law Chuck has an average job in Winni- peg, apartment living or being boxcd-up in a costly suburb ap- pealed lo them about as much us being committed to fl dun- geon. Small farms aroimd Win- nipeg are at present, being matched irp by teachers, law- yers, and red, white and blue collar workers: everything but fanners. So Nancy and Chuck were fortunate in finding a little five-acre plaee miles, door-to- door from Chuck's office. Needless (b say, when (ho kids let us know they'd taken this project on. we had grave misgivings. Both young people were products of our highly de- veloped urban living, and their naive announcement that (hey intended to combine a litlle mixed farm with a 9 to 5 Job sounded too ambitious lo us lo be workable. On our initial visil. houpvcr, we reversed our opinion, albeit somewhat reluctantly. For M.WO Ihc kids had pot them- selves a nice litlle farm home. Not fancy mind you. bill it bad a pxxl fairly ade- quate healing, cak floors and wonder of Bonders a modern, up-to-dale bathroom. Rut Ihe lilllc red bam stand- Ing amid a field of flowers, was In us as charming rs an Old Cciiulry cottage. Our supces- lioil thai Ilic'y live in Ihc nnd mil oul the bouse, lion- CUT. Vias not accepted serious- ly. Why, I don't know, because it Koundrd like a pood deal in the Toronto and Monlroal area, pood used barns are snatched up and convert- ed into "country houses'1 as fast as wealthy eccentrics can find tlie.m. We pleased (o note the kitchen garden was man- ngeable although Nrncy didn't know you had lo dig jwlalors up she thought you picked (hem off branches like berries. JSul lo her credit she learned quickly. We picked plums nnd nude, jam: Ihcn later she wrote hi say slio'd put doun i-oim: jelly. I lliiuigbl Iliis was carrying Ihe Ihe-land movement a bit loo far but. she paid she didn't inlcnd In anylhing. his part in Ihe program, Chuck bought a dozen scraggly chickens who surprisingly laid wilb aslonishing rogulnr- ily "llm1.' can ciiifkni.s lav ulien HKTI' isn't a rno.slcr N'.im'y vvuitnl tn know, and I found myself launched into a bees and birds discussion on which I myself wasn't loo clear. The chickens proved to be a source of con- cern Lo Nancy when the snow began lo fall. "Are they supposed to slay indoors all the she wrolo "I hate to see them run- ning around in the snow in their bare feel." I replied suggesting she knit booties tor them, but as she made no comment about them furlher, I expect between she and the chickens, some satis- factory solution has been ar- rived at. Chuck also bought a cow; a rather large, friendly-faced thing mm ralher penetrating eyes. "We can use the milk." Chuck argued defensively, when we raised our eyebrows over this investment, "And the cream we can sell to our rela- tives." But Nancy had never been nearer a cow than the picture on a condensed milk can and she was properly terrified of the creature. When Chuck un- loaded it into the corral Nancy set a high-jump record leaping the fence. From a safe dis- tance she Inquired "How docs it "Well" I said, Indicating the business end of Ihe cow, "those two are whole milk, that one's Iwo per cent and the other She didn't crack a smile at that old piece of nonsense. "Don't they get cold and freeze up, like a hot water she asked, star- ing worriedly at Ihe cow's ud- der. For a fleeting minute I knew she had vague plans of wliipping up a stretch bra for the Ireasl. "The books don't carry a pat- I advised her, but this didn't put her concerns to rest. "Maybe I can throw a quilt over she decided finally, "and on bad nights I'm sure we can squeeze her into Ihe front proch." To date I haven't found out how Nancy resolved these minor problems, but ap- parently the chickens and bossy are going strong 50 Ihe situation is obviously under control. The big kitchen range is a delight to the kids, and 1 must sav I appreciated it when I viFitcd them recently. Nancy has learned to bake magnifi- cent bread, and I played house baking beans in an old bean pot and brewing up a big soup on lop of Ihe range. Nancy hasn't quile mastered the art of keeping the store going as she forgets to keep putting wood on until it's almost out, (hen she has to start all over again; but give her time, give her time. Wi: were happy lo find thai the kids aren't completely iso- lated. Oilier young couples in similar circumstances live within a few miles of Ihcrn, and there is a great deal of running back and forlh and dis- cussions on chicken feed, fire- wow! and so on. To their credit, oil these youngsters have, in a short time, managed lo inject new lite into the nearby dead which once years ago he'd promise in a thriving dis- trict. They hustled around and formed a Community Club, flooded a skating rink and started a crafts program. For the first lime in a generation a string of Christmas lights straggled across the village's main street. Now, plans arc afoot lo develop under the Local Initiatives Program a park area for the benefit cf poor, lircil, cily lolk. There arc of course, vanfagcs which these Iraclt-tu- Lhe land young people must face. If they maintain an urban job, as most of Ihem do, dis- tance, and Ihc cost of gas, etc., have lo be endured, Long win- ters, when people go hack anil forth to work in Ihe dark like moles, Ls especially difficult for travellers, especially on high- ways which are often drifted in with snow. But the highways everywhere are getting bclbr all Ihe time and once spring comes and Ihe days are long- er, the pioneer spirit is rekin- dled and the nc'.v breed o[ wouldn't trade ces wilb anyone' except pcr- iiiips another homesteader. For years now governments at ;ill levels have been plagued ttilh Ilic cxodui from farm to cily. It creates heartache, un- employment, and it leaves the rural dislricfs bereft of lion. It's far loo errly to predict that another mass this time from cily lo country, will occur in the future. But there are some indications that a re- newed interest is well under way. Hcpofully, some cf our small towns may yet from extinction by Ihe arrival of young pioneers in the area. Focus on the University By MICHAEL SUTHERLAND Come in-, the water's Hue by Elwood Ferguson Book Reviews Some questions fairy tales raise "English Folk nnd Fairy Tales' Joseph Jacobs, en1.. (G. P. Putnam's Sons, .Ird edition, 277 pages, S4.25, dis- IribDlcd by Longman Canada rpHIS ia a book for all ages. Although Joseph Jacobs, late president of the English Folk- lore Society and collector of a vast number of children's sto- ries from different lands, states in his preface that this compendium of 4-1 stories is in- tended for "Lhe little it is a book lo delight, fascinale, and sometimes mystify Ihc old ;'.s well as Ihe young, the spe- cialist as well as the layman, the learned professor PS well as Lhe parcnl and leachcr of tiny Lola. The child will Ihrill lo the simply yet powerfully told ac- counts of such well known clas- sics as "The Three Boars." "The Three Little Pigs." "Jack and the "The His- tory of Tom Thumb'1 and a number of other fine talcs have never before lished. Part of the charm, loo, will be found in the many illus- trated drawings which are pre- Fcnled sometimes vilh the sim- plicity of the puritans and other times with the elaborate- ness of Ihe pre-raphaciile school of art. TUil it is the malnre reader, whclhcr married or not, wheth- er wilh children or not, who should find this book a trea- sure. Perhaps 1'Yeud is responsible or perhaps it is our technical age which endless MaliM.ii'.s while ignoring Ihoj-o truths which lie loo deep for tears. At any rate modern man is delving more nnd more inln. the rich profundily of myths legends and fairy tales lo uncover Ihe unconscious fears, joys, hopes, and aspiralions of all men from infancy lo old nge Tin- ailull reader of Ibcso laics niiisl surely ponder why children revel in incidents of stealing, lying, and violent slaying of one, two, and three giants. Consider for example the four episodes in "Mollie Wliuj> in Ihe first Uie sweet lillle heroine, Mollie, tricks the giant into strangling his three inno- cent daughters; in the second she premedilalingly sleals the giant's treasured sword; in the third his- money; and in the fourth while stealing his ring she fiendishly tricks the giant inlo ballcring his wife lo de.ilb. AVhal docs Ihis story and so mrny olbcrs like ii Icll us ahiiiil the child's in rclalinn to the authorilarian parental And. more iuipurtauL do these tales tell us about adulls without whom these tales could not be perpclualed'.' Jl.iny will recall Ihc dedicated Irrvlier in Blackboard Jungle who found one of bis greatest achievements in his class's condemnation of Jack in (he Beanstalk for trespassing on, stealing from, and finally kill- ing the giant. This is one way of looking at these tales. But I don't think it's the right way. For it ig- nores the unique perspective and environment of Ihe child who sees such giants, or or monslers as an all pervasive symbol of evil. In the case of Jack and the Beanstalk, Jacobs' in bis excel- lent noles tells us that one ver- sion explicitly exonerates Jack by having a fairy inform him lhal Ihe giant had stolon all his possessions from .lack's dead falber. And even in Jacob's version, which omits tile incident of the fairy, v.e sec the evil of the Riant as (he v ilc devourcr of lillle children. Consequently, while a super- ficial reading may lead us to believe lhaf such laics eNlnll evil, (he opposite is Lmp. And .such characters as Jack, and the heroines of Tr.m Til Tot and Mollie m.iy be seen as analagous to the arch- angel Michael in his contin- uous yet victorious batlle wilh Salan and all the forces of evil. There are myriad other fas- cinating questions that arise from reading Jacob's book. For example, w h a t psychological motivations led lo the distor- tion of Soiithcy's version of "The Three In Lhis ori- version which Jacobs, fol- lowing Soulhey, has the in- truder not the sweet G o 1 d y Locks but "an impudent, bad, old V.'omnn." V.'hy? Or again the studrnl of history, or the- ology, or sociology might well ask why it is lhal Ihc pre-rcfor- malion laics for children, es- pecially the bcsliarics, nrc so pronouncedly religious in lone and application Ihc post- reformalion lales .ire almost (otally devoid cf scriptural or religious references? DR. LcROY n. McKENZIE, IINIVERSITY OF UiTIlBRIDGE. Educational use of country 'Tlir (if Ontu.inl Round" liy Dasil I'lrlclirr lIciiicmjMin, 'IMIIC cdncat-ional use of a r o u n t r y Ouhvjircl Round is