Strange Happenings and Stranger Questions

Sometimes strange things happen during my job. And every so often I get a number of strange questions.

This is the strangest question I've been asked of late.

Did cave men use coal? This was asked by a grade 4 student during a class on coal mining history in Lethbridge. I'm not sure what prompted the question but I have to wonder if he wasn't trying to "stump the teacher" (I know I played that game often enough when I was a kid). So if someone asked you this, how would you answer? Did cave men use coal? I must admit, I've never given it any thought before but my answer? I let him know that as coal was dangerous to burn without having a proper stove and chimney to remove any poisonous/toxic gases, that if cave men lived in a place without proper ventilation, cave men could not use coal. But they knew coal burned (if nothing else, lightning would have started exposed coal on fire) and may have used it outside. Does anyone have a more definitive answer for the next time a grade 4 asks me this question?

Also, usually the Flashlight Cemetery Tours go off without a hitch (well, except for the uncooperative weather we had for a few weekends) but the last tour on Saturday (my 4th in a row that evening) was rather interesting. About 1/3 of the way through I noted that the entire group was looking to the side and there was a few gasps as it was noted that something was moving in the dark. For some reason on that tour a cat decided to join us and came with us for the rest of the tour. (And, before you ask, it was half black and half white) Then about 2/3 of the way through the tour coyotes started making a very loud noise. Of course sounds travel a long distance in the dark but it certainly sounded close. And in the last 4 years of tours I've never heard coyotes when I've been out in the cemetery. An interesting evening, to be sure.