Livestock roamed through the thousands of acres of woods in southern Missouri ''bootheel'' where I lived in the early 1900s.
One time my brothers put a young calf in a small building, believing the mother cow would stay nearby and they could milk her. At night the bawling of the calf and cow attracted other cattle, and they ganged up around the place and made a great commotion. Nobody could think of sleeping and nobody wanted to go outside and run them off.
Then somebody thought of shooting them to move them away. Rolled up bits of bacon skins were substituted for the lead shot removed from gun shells, and the cattle, peppered with these strange bullets, dispersed without injury.
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.
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