The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People

By Bruce Hutchison | Go to book overview

Father's Plow

The wheat is fat and heavy on the prairies. The stalks bend under the weight of the grains. Little waves seem to flutter across it as the wind blows, like ripples on a smooth green sea. Now there are faint tinges of yellow, waxing and waning. Each grain is swelling and hardening and sucking up the last fertility, the minute chemicals and richness of this prairie earth.

Piled together, these grains will make four hundred million bushels. Too much wheat, they say. Too much wheat, say the sleek, well-fed men in the Château Laurier. Too much wheat, say the clever men in the East Block. Too much wheat, say the frantic men in Parliament. Too much good food here on our rich prairie earth.

The wheat knows nothing of that. It grows and swells and ripples in the wind. And in the fallow land the white horses, three abreast, pull the harrows, making ready the ground for next year's crop. The horses know nothing of the wheat surplus. They only know that the midday sun is hot and there is dust in their eyes and that by the brook, among the little poplars, there is shade and rest at noontime. The lean farmer follows the horses, trudging through the dust, his face black with dirt and sweat, and he only knows that he has plowed this ground and will soon feel the good yellow grains in his hand. He only knows that he has labored here and produced good food that men need in their bellies.

Too much wheat, the other men say. We must not grow so much wheat, they say.

If we only had a different financial system we could sell our

-289-

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The Unknown Country, Canada and Her People
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Contents ix
  • My Country 3
  • Chapter One - Chez Garneau 6
  • Mother of Canada 21
  • Canadian Spring 43
  • Chapter Three - The Wood Choppers 46
  • Letter from Montreal to Young Lady With Violets 61
  • Chapter Four - Ville Marie 64
  • The Tower 77
  • Chapter Five - Three O'Clock, Ottawa Time 79
  • Leaves Falling, Dead Men Calling 107
  • Chapter Six - Made in Canada 110
  • The Ready Way to Canada 129
  • Chapter Seven - The Wedge 132
  • Mrs. Noggins 155
  • Chapter Eight General Brock's Bloody Hill 158
  • Winter 179
  • Chapter Nine - Wood, Wind, Water 182
  • The Names of Canada 209
  • Chapter Ten - Sailors' Town 211
  • The Queer Lady 219
  • Chapter Eleven - The Home Town 222
  • The Trees 231
  • Chapter Twelve - Fundy's Children 234
  • The Geese 247
  • Chapter Thirteen - The Frontiersman 249
  • The Canadian 269
  • Chapter Fourteen - The Men in Sheepskin Coats 272
  • Father's Plow 289
  • Chapter Fifteen - Drought and Glut 292
  • Never Go Back 309
  • She's Quiet Tonight 329
  • Chapter Seventeen - The Lotus Eaters 332
  • The Buckskin 351
  • Chapter Eighteen - Cariboo Road 353
  • Index 375
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