School project was fun with dad

From our January 2014 issue

By Leonard Wenninger – Drayton Valley, Alta.

Our teacher informed us one day that we’d be doing a paper maché project the following week. We were going to be making animals and he wanted us to think over the next few days about what animal we’d like to make. We were to get our dads, or some other adult, to help us make a wooden frame to build the animal around.

I told dad of the project and that I’d like to make a baby calf. He asked how big the calf was supposed to be. I said I didn’t know, but I figured it should be the size of a calf. The teacher had said to build the wooden frame for the kind of animal we’d like to make.

We lived in Hardisty, Alta., at that time and dad worked at the lumberyard. On Saturday morning, we went down to the lumberyard and found enough wood from the scrap bin to build a frame for a full-size baby calf. We worked on it most of the day and when it was finished, brought it home and stood it in the front porch until Monday morning.

Missed teacher’s words?

At that time, I wasn’t very big and we lived a few blocks from the school. On Monday morning, I put one arm overtop of the calf and the other arm under the calf to support it and off to school I went.

I don’t know if I missed something the teacher said or what, but you should have seen the looks on everyone’s faces when I walked into the room with the full-size frame for a calf. Everyone else’s animals fit on their desk. I found a corner big enough for the calf to fit into.

The teacher instructed us on how to make the paste for paper maché and then he came over to where I was. He looked at it from one angle then moved around a bit and looked at it from another angle. His only words were, “you sure have your work cut out for you,” and walked away.

Two friends came over and told me their dads were working on Saturday and couldn’t get anyone else to help them build a frame, so they asked if they could help with mine. “Gladly,” I said, and the three of us went to work on this calf. I don’t remember if we finished the project or not but we sure had fun working together on it.

The thing that sticks out most in my mind is the time my dad and I spent together that Saturday and the fun we had. He passed away a few years ago, and this is just one of the many happy times I remember spending with him.

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