Sunday, January 08, 2006

From the MSHA Kid's Page: The Coal Miner's Canary

My bedroom door creaked and woke me up. Mother tiptoed into the room and whispered, "Little Ned, the miners are coming."

I threw off my blanket and ran to the window. I pushed the curtains aside and raised the sash. Like they did every morning, the miners marched down the road one behind the other. They wore clean overalls and tin helmets with flashlights on top and carried their lunch buckets under their arms. They looked like one-hundred Seven Dwarfs, only they didn't sing and Snow White was nowhere in sight. Oh, how I wanted to be a coal miner.

"Mother," I asked. "Can I go up Coal Mountain with the miners someday."

"No-oo. I told you before, coal mining is dangerous work. The most dangerous work there is in the whole State of West Virginia. But If it weren't for those lumps of coal those brave miners drag up from the belly of that there mountain, we'd be mighty cold in the wintertime."

"Can I sit by the road when they come home tonight."

"Lordy me, child, if you don't take the buttercake. You went yesterday, the day before that, every day for-"

"Mother, please."

"Oh, okay, but get on home as soon as they've passed you by." [link]

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