In days of yore from Britain's shore
Wolfe the donkless hero came........
And planted firm Brittania's flag
On Canada's fair domain ...........
And so on
Fatty Campbell, a kid in our class, wondered how General Wolfe originally got into the army, considering he was donkless. This had never occurred to any other of us before. I should explain however, that when I was 8 years old and in Grade 3, male genetalia consisted of a single word: donk. We had never heard of penis. If someone had suggested the word to us, he would have been laughed out the schoolyard. During that period of the 1920s, Gertrude Stein was in Paris telling the world that "a rose is a rose, is a rose. Exactly! And a donk was a donk, was a donk.
Well, I was elected, against my will, to approach Miss Preston after four to
inquire if Wolfe was donkless. What to say? How to say it? Here goes: "Miss
Preston, was General Wolfe donkless?"
Miss Preston started to laugh and laugh and laugh. I thought she was losing her mind. What would happen to me if she had a heart attack? Jail? "No Lawrence, the word is DAUNTLESS. It means unafraid, a hero, brave."
I told the other kids. Wolfe had lost his stature. When he was donkless, he was somebody. But now that he was just dauntless, the fire had gone out of our singing. We had lost that evengelical fervour for The Maple Leaf Forever.