Outhouse Company

Woman is accompanied to the outhouse by some noisy friends.

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We spent part of our honeymoon with some friends in the wilds of Wisconsin. They had a big, old farm home with an outhouse - not out in back, but in front and a little south of the driveway. The outhouse, itself, was a shock to the city girl I was then, as I had never used one. The embarrassment of having to cross the driveway and go past the machine shed where someone was usually working was bad enough. Total humiliation came when a large, waddling duck, quacking loudly to her three chicks bobbing along in a row behind her, followed me to the outhouse every time I got up the courage to make the trip. I felt as though I was leading a noisy parade! The worst time was yet to come! One morning the ducks and I made our procession to the outhouse in the usual manner. While I was in the outhouse I heard a truck drive up and park about 30 feet away from it. I just couldn't make myself walk out of that place while several strange men were standing there talking to our friend. I waited, hoped, and prayed that they would go away. Finally, they all went into the machine shed. I peeked out and saw that they were busy way back in the shed so thought I could sneak out quietly with no one noticing me. I opened the door quietly and started to run for the house when that darn duck and her little ones set up the most awful clatter. I could hear the men laughing all the way to the house, and when I got in the house my new husband and the women were roaring with laughter. I thought for a second what a silly sight the ducks and I had made, scuttling into the house, and began to giggle myself. Believe me, it was a joke our friends never let me forget. 

Catherine Chapman 
Harshaw, 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.