John McCullagh September 13, 2006
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Just at that moment the school bell rang, coming to my rescue! Although he was dead, I took up my wooden horse and tethered him to a nearby rail so that I could return to the classroom. 

The game resumed as soon as afternoon recess was signalled. The Indians came charging and whooping after me, determined not to be deprived of their prey – certainly not such a gull as me!   I was hustled off to the furthermost corner of the yard where my noble steed had fallen.

Despite my total lack of resistance I was pushed and shoved and dragged to a wooden post that was firmly planted in the ground. A length of binder twine was produced and I was tied to the post.

Immediately I was surrounded by circling, screaming Cree Indians (Alberta was Cree country) many of them waving rifles in the air, a few with six-guns strapped to their waists – though it was the accepted custom that that would be characteristic of the cowboys who were supposed to come to my assistance.  Of them there was neither sign nor light!

As the savages danced around me brandishing tomahawks and working themselves up for the kill, the school bell sounded at the far side of the playground, again coming to my rescue. Like pigeons scattering at the cat’s approach, both cowboys and Indians quickly dispersed, leaving me tied hopelessly to that post.

Now the yard was silent and empty. In the distance I could hear the metallic whirring of a binder. A crow cried irritatingly from a nearby bluff. I might become buzzard carrion!

A gentle west wind stroked my cheeks and moved on, stirring the ripening corn. I struggled to free myself but my captors had well and truly secured me to the post.

Still I felt no fear or panic. Somebody would be sure to come and notice my plight.

I wondered whether my sister Sally had noticed my absence. Then doubt crept in.

Suppose no one noticed that I was missing? I could shout and yell but that seemed singularly inappropriate and might mark me as a cry-baby.   Still, all sorts of possibilities ran through my mind. 

I could be overlooked at home time. What if I was left here all night? What if it rained?  Suppose a hungry wolf caught my scent and came to investigate?  If I left it till then I could yell as loud and as long as I had breath but I would not be heard as there was not a house within two miles.

I was beginning to feel most angry and irritated when at last I saw two ex-Indians running across the playground in my direction. I was glad to see them and be rescued. I was a stranger in a strange land.

It would be easy to overlook someone as insignificant as me!

 … Sunnyside to St Bride’s …

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