Let me go back to Grade 3, Elmwood Public School, Swift Current, Saskatchewan. The year was 1928, just before the start of the Great Depression. I was eight years old. Our teacher was Miss Preston who always smelled of cigarette smoke and moth balls. Shortly after the 9 o'clock bell sounded, we trooped into class to stand by our desks. The morning ritual began. "Good morning, class."
"Good morning Miss Preston." This from forty treble voices.
Miss Preston raised her right hand, and on the downstroke, we would drag out the slow-moving dirge-like anthem God Save the King. After that, a pause, and again Miss Preston's downstroke. The Maple Leaf Forever! Boy did we belt that out! We sounded like a bunch of people who had just seen the light. I still remember it's opening verse:

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.