He crouched then heard ‘a sudden rip’

From our February 2013 issue

By Ben Goertzen – La Crete, Alta.

In the early 1940s, I went to a small country school in Saskatchewan called Rosalind School.

We were playing games at recess time and as I crouched down to pick up a ball I heard a sudden rip. I knew where it was. Undergarments were scarce and I could feel the cool breeze on my back side.

I stood up slowly and backed away from the game. Then, I turned around and ran to the school. What am I going to do now, run home or face the other children?

Then I remembered I had a pocketknife and for some reason some heavy thread in my school desk. I took the thread and knife and ran to the outside toilet.

I sat down and removed my jeans and looked at the damage. I made small holes in the pants with my pocketknife and started sewing up my pants. It took me a while to sew them up, but I had no choice.

After I was finished I put them on and slowly walked back to school. I met the teacher and he asked me if I had a good reason for leaving the game. I sure did, I informed him.

My sewing job lasted the rest of the day, but I moved gently when bending down!