For Alexander Franko the winter had been good to him in terms of the weather. He preferred a cold winter with little snow because it was much easier to manage. With the cold, all you had to do was bundle up a little more, but with the snow, depending on the amount, you could be stuck for awhile in the farmhouse.
Alexander grabbed his saw and stepped outside to cut down a few more trees as he was in the process of clearing the homestead. It was late November and the mild winter had allowed him make great progress on clearing the trees. Stroke by stroke the teeth on the saw bit into the tree until the tree could no longer stand and fell slowly to the ground. Alexander soon grew tired and decided to take a break. He set down his saw and wiped the sweat from his forehead, looked to west and frowned as he saw storm clouds on the horizon. From his years of experience on the prairies and back home in the Ukraine he knew that these clouds meant one thing: a blizzard. He studied the clouds and the speed that they were moving scared him. He shook his head, picked up his saw and headed back to the farmhouse.
Upon arriving to his farmhouse he cursed himself for not loading up on supplies. He should have known better. The storm was only an hour away. He looked out the window one last time and then walked over to the cupboards and looked inside; they were bare. All he could do is wait and pray that the storm would blow over and then he would grab his sled and walk the 230 kilometers round trip to Edmonton to buy groceries.
But Alexander did not get his wish and the storm hit his homestead in full force and within minutes there was a foot of snow and the howling blizzard winds made massive snowdrifts around his farmhouse. For a day and a half the blizzard reigned its terror on the earth. Once it had dissipated the temperature plummeted to -40 celcius. The snow was going nowhere.
For days Alexander went without food, trying to conserve what he had. He attempted to shovel his way out of the farmhouse but it was impossible. He reasoned that to wait it out would be his best bet. Deep down he knew no one would come to rescue him; on the Canadian prairies nobody knew you existed. Slowly he began to eat what little food he had and as the days passed he grew weaker. Two weeks went by and he had eaten nothing. He knew the end was near, then as a last resort he did the unthinkable.
He sawed off his arm for food to eat. An hour later he was rescued by a neighbor.