Owl Became Mascot of One-Room Schoolhouse

Students decided one-room schoolhouse needed a mascot.

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Most of the rural, one-room schoolhouses were not equipped with modern bathroom facilities, and one morning a little fellow came in from the outhouse with a little brown owl. He was cold and hungry, so we all took pity on him. It made a fine science lesson. The children shared cookie crumbs and bits of bread with him and the little owl was right at home.

He made no noise, but enjoyed sitting on the light fixtures where he could watch what was going on.

On weekends the boys took turns going to the schoolhouse to feed him and he became a nice friendly bird that would eat out of their hands.

In the spring we decided that he should be returned to his environment, since the school would be closed in May. He was returned to the outdoor facility where he was discovered.

Every morning for two weeks he was on the doorstep when I unlocked the door. I talked to him and fed him some goodies and he flew off. One day he was not there, but when I locked my car door, he sat on the fender. I petted him again and talked to him and he flew away.

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.