Mystery of the Dog in the Manger

CVA - SGN 1586 - [Teacher Dorothy Alison and students in classroom of Model School] 1907? C. Bradbury photo.

CVA – SGN 1586 – [Teacher Dorothy Alison (sic) and students in classroom of Model School] 1907? C. Bradbury photo. Miss Allison (correct spelling) became Mrs Bradbury in December 1907, marrying the photographer of this image, Charles Bradbury.

If you look closely at the blackboard of this image of the Model School (at Cambie and 12th; still standing, although the interior has been altered to make it City Square shopping mall), you can see part of the lesson for the day – a rural tale for these then-semi-rural Vancouver youngsters: that of ‘The Dog in the Manger’. According to the author of this site, this isn’t truly one of the tales of Aesop (of which there are no original written documents); it was added to an early post-printing-press edition produced by German printer Heinrich Steinhowel. The fable has been used (along with others with more verifiable Aesop pedigree) for centuries as a morals booster to improve societal quality (not a morale booster – which is principally concerned with making individuals feel better about themselves – a quite different thing).

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