When I was seven I was hospitalized for a ruptured appendicitis. Not a fun few weeks: but that’s a story for another time. Before I was hospitalized my mum was reading a book to me at bedtime each night. A chapter a night. No chapter the night of surgery.
That book became very important to me. It became the first real novel I read on my own. My mum read a chapter or two during visiting hours. That was not enough. She left it with me and I finished it.
The book was “Owls In The Family”. The author, Farley Mowat. I went on to read many more of his novels.
They were stories that concerned Canadians. Young and old. They were growing up in urban communities, they were lost in the far north or they were fighting in the trenches of Europe. They owned dogs, or lived with dogs. They built boats and sailed them. They traveled to this great land and they traveled away from it. These characters loved Canada. These characters were Canada.
Farley Mowat is overlooked. His example of Canadian culture is ignored. But Farley Mowat is a true Canadian. His books should be compulsory reading for all Canadian students. Every new Canadian should be expected to have an understanding of Farley Mowat’s Canada.
Farley Mowat’s Canada is my Canada.