Theft Took Place in One-Room Schoolhouse

Youngster punished for stealing crayons from one-room schoolhouse.

Content Tools

We lived on a farm on top of a steep hill about one-quarter mile from the our one-room schoolhouse. All the little kids, or so I thought, had a box of crayons. Crayolas, we called them then. Lord, how I wanted a box of Crayolas. The only way I knew how to get them was to steal them. I'm sure I had never stolen anything before and trust me, I haven't since.

The teacher was boarding with us at the time, she must have told Mom about it. Anyway, Mama, as we called her, said, "Berniece, go get your Crayolas and come with me." She went to the back yard and broke off a big limb from a peach tree, stripped off all of the leaves and said, "Come with me." She made me walk down that big hill in front of her. She wrapped that peach tree limb around my poor skinny legs every step of the way there back to the schoolhouse.

Once there, I put the box of Crayolas through a crack in the door. Back up the hill Mama and I went, and she didn't miss a lick.

Berniece Wilson
Poplar Bluff, Missouri


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.