The First Snowfall, from "A Prairie Boy’s Winter" series, 1972
ProvenanceThe Isaacs Gallery Ltd., Toronto;
Marlborough Godard, Toronto;
Private Collection, Montreal.
DocumentationWilliam Kurelek, A Prairie Boy's Winter (Toronto: Tundra books, 1999), Fig. 2, repr. in colour, unpaginated;
Dr. Ash K. Prakash, Canadian art: Selected Masters from Private Collections (Ottawa : V. Fortier Pub., 2003), reproduced in colour p. 229.
"2. The First Snowfall
William behaved like children all over the world at the first snowfall.
He became giddy with excitement and held his mouth open to
catch the first big juicy flakes spiraling slowly downward.
Immediately after school, William and Winnie were sent by their mother to
fetch the cows. For the past few days the animals had been huddling
under the straw pile to keep warm. From now until spring they would
remain in the barn, apart from a brief daily visit to the water trough.
This year William’s father had managed to lay up plenty of cattle feed for the
winter. Two large clover stacks had been built beside the warmer south
side of the barn, and a silo hole had been filled with ensilage and
covered over. Ensilage is finely chopped green corn that has partly fermented
under its own weight. Cows go crazy over their daily ration of it —
one forkful per cow — just as cats do over the catnip. But their main dinner
was hay, and some of that was already in the hayloft.”