It's a Canadian Thing


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Letter from a Saskatchewan farm kid, now at RCMP Training Academy set off.

Dear Ma and Pa, I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and Brother Elmer the RCMP beats working for old man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick before all the places gets filled up. I was kinda restless at first because we has to stay in bed till near 6 a.m., but am getting so I like to sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer alls you gots to do before breakfast is smooth your cot and shine stuff. No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to split, fire to lay. Prit near nothing. Men's got to shave but it's not so bad, there's warm water! Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc. but kinda weak on chops, taters, ham, steak, fried beans, pie and other regular food. But tell Walt and Elmer you can always sit between two city boys that jest drinks coffee. Their food plus'n yours holds you till noon when you get fed again! It's no wonder these city boys can't walk much. We go on "route" marches, which the Drill Corporal says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so, it is not my place to tell him different. A "route march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home. Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride back in trucks. The country is nice, but kinda bumpy. The Sergeant is like a schoolteacher. He nags some. The S/Sgt is like a principal. Srgt/Maj. and Inspectors just ride around and frown, like its gonna rain and there's wheat to combine. They don't bother you none. This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing. I keeps getting medals for shootin. I don't know why. The bulls-eye is nears big as a chipmunk head and it don't move. And it ain't shooting at you, like the Higgett boys at home. All you gots to do is lie there all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your own cartridges. They come in boxes. Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat training. You gets to wrestle with all them city boys. I has to be real careful though, they break easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at home. I'm about the best they got in this except for that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. He joined up the same time as me. But I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and weighs near 300 pounds, dry. Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join up before other fellers gets onto this setup and come stampeding in. Your loving daughter, Betsy.