As he picked up his fork, Frank said to his son, “Jack, are you excited to be going to school? I hear you will be with the fives, even though you’re only four. Big for your age, though. I don’t think the fives will know unless someone tells them.”
“Ah’m nae skeert, Da.”
Frank looked directly at his son. “You know, son, there will be many children that will be speaking Canadian English. They might not understand you well. I think it will be easier for you to speak more like I do. Suppose you can try to do that?”
Jack sat up straight and pulled in his chin a bit. He did his best imitation of his father, even lowering his pitch as much as he could. “Son, do you suppose you can speak like me?”
Margaret and Frank let out peals of laughter.
“Yes, Jack. Just like that. That was fantastic.” Frank reached over and patted Jack on the head.
After supper, the dishes were washed and put away, and Jack was put to bed. Then Frank and Margaret relaxed in their respective chairs in the parlor. Margaret picked up her mending, but Frank put off picking up the newspaper.
“Margaret, I think it would be best for you to try and speak as you learned in primary. It will help Jack going forward. Do you suppose you could try and do that?”
Margaret looked up at Frank, considering his request. “Ah dinnae see a problem, Frank.”
Frank leaned forward a little. “Margaret, now that I have my own truck, I can pick up new customers. There might be times where we need to entertain new clients. Non-Scottish clients. It will be important to our family for us to fit in. I am asking you not just for Jack, but for me. We will speak the King’s English in this house. It is the language of Canada.”
“Are you tellin’ me howfer tae speak?”
“Yes, Margaret, I am. You and Jack, too. We are Canadians. We will speak Canadian English.”
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