April Fools’ day

Apr 13th, 2018 | By | Category: Mary Cook's Memories of the '30s

By Mary Cook

It was that time of year again … and I knew that I was going to be tricked.  I could never catch anyone in the family, but I was easy game when it came to April Fools’ Day.

Because I was so easily fooled, and I never seemed to be able to catch anyone in a prank, I hated April Fools’ day with a passion. I wondered if there was some way I could just stay in bed the whole day, pretending I was sick. But, of course, Mother wouldn’t fall for that, and besides, I would be subjected to either a visit from Mrs. Beam and one of her vile treatments, or Mother would give me hot milk which I loathed.  No, come April Fools’ Day, I would just have to face it.

Emerson’s favourite trick was to lure me to the bedroom window as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, to tell me about something happening in the backyard. Of course, I would never remember that it was April Fools’ Day, and fell for it every time. That year he told me there was a three-legged horse beside the pump, and laughed so hard he ended up rolling on the floor.

Father too thought the day was wasted if he didn’t trick me as well as the rest of the family. He had me chasing an imaginary rabbit into the bush, and told me at breakfast to go to the ice box and see a live chicken. Needless to say, I was tricked again.

My sister Audrey wasn’t above a prank either.  And that year she replaced the cocoa in our milk with molasses, which my brother Emerson promptly spit right across the table. Of course, there was no such thing as wasting perfectly good milk and molasses, so when we came home from school Audrey had to use up the mixture in a batch of muffins!

Even Miss Crosby pulled a joke on us that year. She turned the whole day around by giving us spelling in the morning, which we always had just before recess in the afternoon, and reading the bible just before school was over at the end of the day.

By the time the day was over, with our entire routine turned upside down, we had no idea if we were coming or going.

Of course Cecil had his own special tricks to play on we younger girls at the Northcote School. That year he said he had a peppermint for everyone in the school. Thankfully, Miss Crosby wasn’t going to fall for that one, and she made him produce one for her to look over. It turned out to be a handful of mothballs. Miss Crosby chucked the whole batch right into the waste paper basket.

Mother announced at supper that night that the pranks were over. We were to eat our supper and behave ourselves. And no one was to even utter the words April Fools’ Day. I was delighted. I’d had it for another year.

Mary Cook’s latest book, Reflections, The Best Job in the World ($25) is available in select Valley bookstores. You can also request a copy of emailing Mary at: wick2@sympatico.ca. Mary will be happy to autograph copies.

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