[Continuing a series of short excerpts from The Story of Canada, the recently republished history of Canada for kids and families that makes such a good Christmas gift.]
|Alan Daniel, "North-West Mounted Police deliver mail to prairie homesteads"|
"In a Cape Breton Island coal-mining town, a boy works underground, crouching in a mine shaft that runs out under the bottom of the ocean. Since the working day starts before dawn and ends after dusk, he sees the sun only on Sundays or during the few short weeks of summer. His lunch, a bit of bread and cheese called "a piece" always tastes of coal dust. Coal dust has gotten into his skin so deeply that it seems he cannot get it out, no matter how hard he scrubs in the big tin tub in front of the fireplace."