Grandmother's Pioneer Stories Kept Children Spellbound

Being chased by a panther was among grandmother's pioneer stories.

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Among Grandma’s pioneer stories was a tale that always held us children spellbound.

When she was first married, she had an old moon-eyed horse. She rode the horse one evening to the home of a neighbor to get a setting of eggs. It was a distance of 2 miles, and half of it was through a dense woods.

It wasn't quite dark when she went over, but by the time she started back it was cloudy and very black. When she entered the pitch-dark woods on her return trip, she heard the scream of a panther close behind her.

The horse was as frightened as Grandma, and he stumbled through the brush and under tree limbs with Grandma hanging on for dear life. The horse could not see well and kept getting off the trail. The panther could be heard getting closer and closer as he crashed through the brush or jumped from tree limb to tree limb.

When Grandma and the horse finally reached a clearer area, the panther stayed behind. Grandma's long hair had fallen down and was snarled with twigs and brush. Her hands and face were badly scratched. And the eggs? They were still in the basket with the handle looped over her arm, but there wasn't a good one left. I guess Grandma was lucky the horse couldn't see well, or she never would have been able to stay on.

Velma Sipes
Unionville, Missouri

 Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER's WEEKLY asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER's readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.