Outhouse Scare

Snake scares a girl in the outhouse while she's flipping through catalogs.

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Here is my early memory of the outhouse. 

The day I wasn't alone! Back in the 1930's a trip to the outhouse in seasonable weather served a dual purpose. There I would slip into a dream world of my own, thoroughly enjoying flipping through the pages of the Sears Roebuck and Montgomery

Ward catalogs, viewing the fashionable shoes. Yes, someday when I grew up among my possessions would be a pair of shiny shoes of every obtainable color. As I sat covering the round hole in the board seat, a glimpse of reality flickered back as my eyes dropped to the corner of the floor, and a moment of panic and fear struck .There lay a curled up huge snake! I screamed and ran out the door with the round impression on my backside and memories of that moment of fear. The sound of shrieking laughter in the distance came from my younger brother. If I could have caught him he might have had a few bruises and felt lucky not to be like the snake - dead.

Viola Gallentine
Norton, Kansas


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.