Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Friday, March 18, 2016

Prodded Into Obedience

Shop class was for learning.
Woodcrafting, metal work, welding, automotive.
These were the things that should occupy the young men’s minds.
Was food mentioned in there anywhere?
No. Because (as in the library), in the Fort Macleod high school shop class, food was forbidden.
Did that stop them from trying to sneak food in?
Pfff. These were young men.
The mere fact that they weren’t supposed to, simply made it a challenge.
Some of them were good at it.
Some weren’t.
Monty was in the latter group . . .
The boys had just come in from their ten-minute break between classes.
Monty had bought himself a fudgecicle during said break.
And he wasn’t finished with it yet.
Deftly, sneakily, he ducked down behind one of the workbenches to continue enjoying.
The teacher came in and looked around. “Where’s Monty?” he mouthed silently to the assembled lads.
No one answered, but enough eyes turned toward the boy’s hiding spot that the teacher spotted him easily. He leaned down.
The bench Monty was hiding behind stood up on legs that held it several inches off the floor.
Teacher smiled a slow smile.
Now, I should mention here that this teacher moonlighted in the evenings and on weekends as a rancher.
He drove a pickup truck.
Equipped with the modern conveniences of ranching.
And that truck was parked directly outside the shop-room door.
Silently, he went out, quickly returning with what we ranchers affectionately call a ‘stock prod’.
It is a long, metal stick, filled with batteries, and equipped with two metal prongs on one end. The whole contraption is specifically designed to give a jolt to notoriously thick-skinned cows when working with them in tight spaces.
The boys watched, a little uncertainly, as their teacher carried it in.
A stock prod gives a harmless zap to heavy-hided cattle.
Thin-skinned humans don’t fare as well.
But Teacher didn’t, as they feared, simply jab their chum in the rear.
Nope.
He slid the prod under the bench next to his student and waved it slowly back and forth.
Monty looked down.
Huh. What was that? The rod moved away. Then closer.
And Monty, ever vigilant, grabbed it.
With a yelp, he sprang to his feet, fudgecicle forgotten.
“Monty,” teacher said.
The boy looked at him.
“No eating during shop class.”
Lesson learned.

4 comments:

  1. That wouldn't go over well these days ... with good reason. But I bet teachers today are having similar problems with texting instead of food. And I bet they wish they could bring a cattle prod to school!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I hope he cleaned up that fudgecicle too. And feel confident that the teacher ensured he did. I suspect that a cattle prod wouldn't be enough for lots of today's teachers. A small muclear device?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great story! I don't know how teachers do it today, with cell phones, and head phones, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh poor Monty! That poor guy needs to change classes...or learn to listen!

    ReplyDelete

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