Shortly after my parents were married, they lived in a house near the railway station in Alida, Saskatchewan, Canada. There was a granite boulder in the backyard and my father, who has always been somewhat of an artist/artisan, decided to see how hard it was to carve on granite. Using a ball-peen hammer and a steel chisel, he etched a pictogram of a turtle onto the boulder (he says that it actually looked more like a spider but it was intended to be a turtle viewed from above).

A few years later, while living in a different part of town, my father was asked to give a talk to the local cub-scout troop. At the end of the talk, one of the cub-scouts approached my father and proceeded to tell him about the frog that had been carved by the Indians on a boulder in a yard by the railway tracks. Not wanting to disappoint the child, my father listened carefully to the story, knowing that the frog was really the turtle that he had carved a few years earlier.

One day a while later, my father visited the person living in the house with the granite boulder in the backyard. He asked the fellow if he had a boulder in his backyard and the fellow replied that he did. My father then asked if there was something carved on the boulder and the person said that there was a frog carved on the boulder. My father then asked if he knew who had carved the frog and the fellow replied that it was "carved by the Indians". When my father tried to explain that he and not the Indians had carved the pictogram on the boulder, the fellow just refused to believe it.

It should be noted that Alida is situated in a part of Saskatchewan where Indian artifacts exist. Consequently, it isn't entirely unreasonable for a non-expert to assume that the pictogram carved by my father was an actual native artifact (it is highly unlikely that it would have ever fooled an expert).

My father advises that granite is a poor choice of first medium for anyone contemplating stone carving (granite is quite hard).


My father related this story to me and other family members on July 10th, 1999. The events in this story would have taken place in the mid to late 1950s. You may come across a slightly different version of this story on as I wrote it up and put it on that web site a few days after hearing it from my father.

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