The Depression gave us many sad stories.
But there are also stories of service and sacrifice that are truly inspiring . . .
My Grampa Stringam was a rancher.
He also served as an MLA in the provincial legislature.
It kept him busy.
And gave him a much broader scope in which to help those in need.
One morning, he announced to Grandma that he was heading over to the neighbours.
When Grandma asked why, he told her that the neighbour had a horse to sell.
“Oh,” she said. “I didn’t know we needed another horse.”
Her response? A cryptic, “We don’t.”
Grampa disappeared, returning some time later. Without the horse.
When Grandma asked him if his business had been concluded satisfactorily, he nodded and smiled.
Fixing him with her best frown, she asked him what was going on.
His smiled widened. “I bought the neighbour’s horse.”
“But why? When you admitted that we didn’t need another.”
“Well, his wife needs medical help and he needs the money to pay for it.”
There is a codicil . . .
Grampa paid the man for the horse.
A fair sum for the times.
The man’s wife got the medical help she needed.
And all was well.
But there is one other point to this story.
An important one.
Grampa never did go and get the horse he had paid for.
Grandma was right.
He didn’t need another horse.