Making Camp Ends Quickly Because of Snake Den

Different campsite a necessity after covered wagon awakens snake den.

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We left our homestead in South Dakota and traveled by covered wagon south through the Gap and the Badlands. I shall never forget the Buttes and the tall sword-sharp grass. And I’ll never forget the snake den.

There were no roads in those days and often not even a trail. I remember my mother cautioning Father to have more than enough water, for it was easy to get lost in that country.

While we were making camp one afternoon late, our faithful dog pranced around, quite uneasy, and kept sniffing at the ground. Mother told Father we'd better move on and find another camping spot. My father was a bit angered at this because he thought he had picked an ideal spot.

"Just look at that dog and how strange she is acting. There's something wrong with this place!" said Mother.

In a matter of seconds, our faithful dog was killing rattlesnakes in rapid succession. My father lost no time in hitching up and getting out of there!

Mrs. Herbert A. Shinn
Greenfield, Iowa 


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.