Mice Were Pets In One-Room Schoolhouse

Children made mice pets in one-room schoolhouse.

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Occasionally we caught mice in traps in the older country schools, but in one, we had two little mice which seemed to avoid our baited traps. We tried cheese, which should have enticed them, and even used peanut butter, to no avail.

After the noon recess, every class had a penmanship class. Of course it was quiet, and sure enough, our two little mice appeared. Two of the little girls named them Mickey and Minnie. Every pupil was quiet but watchful as the mice scampered down under the seats looking for crumbs of cookies or cake. When the noise of classes resumed, they disappeared.

This was a daily experience until one evening my husband came to get me from school. As we rode along, I realized we had an extra passenger. I asked him to stop quickly. I got out of the car, took off my coat and shook it. One of the little mice fell from my sleeve and scampered away.

The next morning I announced that one of our mice had been left on the roadside. Sure enough, during penmanship class, one lonely little mouse searched for tidbits under the rows of seats.

Madonna Storla
Postville, 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.