Mice Ran One-Room Schoolhouse

Mice were plentiful in one-room schoolhouse.

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By the late 1930s, one-room schoolhouses in Northwest Wisconsin were about to become things of the past.

I taught a year in one of them that left much to be desired. Not the least of the problems in the school was the over-abundance of families of mice. If I opened a desk drawer, one was almost certain to hop out. After the children left for the day, mice scurried up and down the aisles. I had no love for them!

One evening as I was in the cloak-room getting ready to leave for my boarding-place, one of the school board members dropped by.

I seized the opportunity to air my views concerning what needed to be done to improve the school. I was very vocal in my criticisms.

I was still complaining while I proceeded to pull on my woolen snow pants. As I did so, a mouse started climbing up my leg. I shrieked in fright and flung my leg forward. The mouse flew across the floor.

The Board member howled with laughter but managed to say, "You sure changed your tune!"

Credits go to the Board for setting out sufficient poison to eliminate the mice during Christmas vacation. What a relief!

Mary Gaylord
Balsam Lake, Wisconsin

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.