Second World War: Easter Lamb and Sheepskin

Woman recalls an Italian family curing their own sheepskin after easter while staying in Europe after the second World War.

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 As the second World War drew to a close, my husband and I were married. Being married to a serviceman allowed my children and me to travel overseas to his duty stations. 

When we arrived in southern Italy, scars of the bombing there were very visible. Americans were not especially welcome at that particular time.

We lived a few blocks from the NATO Command. Our young children and I would walk to the military facility for some of our needs. We would pass the ground-level apartment of an Italian family; the kitchen door was almost always open.

Several weeks before Easter, we saw a lamb being raised behind the kitchen stove, which was directly in line with the open door. The floor of the apartment was earth.

The lamb grew larger each passing week.

The week after Easter, instead of seeing the lamb behind the stove we saw the sheepskin nailed on the outside of the house drying. We imagined the family enjoyed the fatted lamb for Easter dinner.

This was a little difficult to explain to our small children.

Helen L. Bean
Wayne, Nebraska


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.