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Marius Barbeau A glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969)
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Barbeau's Story

Time to Play (1)

For fun and distraction, I would go with my sister Dalila (a year and a half younger than me) into the strawberry and raspberry fields and woods, far away. My parent's land was a mile in length, bordered by a maple grove (sugar trees). I ended up knowing every inch of it. I knew where the wild honey bees were, and I would take their brown honey.

We would fill up a little bucket with wild fruit and more. My mother would make preserves from it. She also bought some from the neighbours. And there was fruit from the garden to make the preserves. At the far end of the land there was a stream with trout. I used to fish there, like a "little savage". On the great river (Chaudière) I used to go in a canoe to fish, long days, for white fish, bass, carp and "cardrons".

My mother had a long time ago started teaching me music, the piano, singing (she had been the organist in her convent): one of the first things I learned, after the scales and chords, was "À la claire fontaine", a Canadian folk song that she arranged. I had a beautiful voice as a child, and the taste for music. That led me to a turning point in my life.

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