We learned Nature Study – in the field – literally speaking! We could identify every flower and plant, every bird and beast, trees and insects too. We learned all the practical household skills of the time: cooking, sewing, knitting, darning, pattern-making and their use in clothes making. Cleaning, of course. Our grounding in English and Mathematics was second to none.
We had time for fun and devilment too! I remember well the time I pushed Bridgie Keenan, who lived in the second house up the brae from us, on the road to school, into the river and soaked her to the skin! It happened by accident!
Steve Bellew was eating his lunch on the low wall and that lunch was wrapped in beautiful, shiny silver paper. Being a boy, he just cast it aside, not appreciating its attraction. Well, Bridgie and I made a dive at it together. I got it, but in the push, she went right into the river! She had to walk the long road home and her dripping!
For three weeks my bothers and sisters and I had to take to the fields when we got close to the Keenan’s house on the way to and from school. Bridgie’s father was well-known as a tarror and a targe!