Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, by Stephen Leacock (Toronto, New York, London, 1912), is a series of vignettes dramatizing the comedy of day-to-day life in Mariposa, a bustling and big-time small town on the shores of the magnificent Lake Wissanotti. Thrumming with self-importance, endowed with a solemnly quirky populace, Mariposa is modelled on Orillia, Ont; for generations of readers, it has also been the centre of Leacock's fondest and most amusing portrait of small-town life. Leacock's humour depends on his gift for creating a straight-faced storyteller, an earnestly deadpan narrator who cannot imagine what his readers are laughing about. Nowhere is this gift more apparent than in Leacock's warm but gently mocking scrutiny of both the foibles and pretensions of his Mariposan Canadians.