My first job after graduating high school was in the mailroom of a large insurance firm. Though not my finest vocational hour, I had made a decision to travel across Canada before settling into university life.
Sorting mail was mundane and tedious work to a restless eighteen year old, especially one who was eager to explore the world. Early on I had conceded that despite the monotonous nature of the job, this employment opportunity would provide the much sought after pay cheque in order to afford my dream.
One day, a bulletin advertising a company sponsored community contest came across my desk. Eligible contestants aged ten and under, were required to submit a story describing their love of nature. The winner would be the lucky recipient of a set of Robert Bateman prints.
It is most likely that I will never fully understand what motivated me to enter the contest under the pretence of being my seven-year-old brother. Although I had, and still have, a healthy respect and love for Bateman's work, boredom was most likely the culprit that fateful day. After carefully composing my rendition of what I determined to be the best version of juvenile script with my non-dominant hand, I submitted my creation to the powers that be.
Nagging guilt turned to full blown horror as the Bateman prints arrived in all their glory at our door the following month. Not only had my bewildered brother won, his clever story was published in the quarterly journal.