Children loved the animals that showed up at their one-room schoolhouse
One-room schoolhouses were home to much more than just learning.
I had to walk over a mile to our one-room schoolhouse. In bad weather I would ride my pony. Our school did not have a barn. When I arrived at school I would tie up the reins to the saddle horn, tell her to go home, and smack her on the rump. She would run home where my folks would put her into the barn. About a half hour before school was out my folks would saddle her, tie up the reins, tell her to go to school, and smack her on the rump. She would run to school, arriving before school was out. First she would stop at the door and whinny. Then she would walk to the window where she could see me and wait until I started to the door. She always beat me back to the door. She loved to run so we always raced the wind home.
The animal the children seem to love most at our one room country school was a white sow piglet named Betty Coleen. Betty was an orphan who had been raised from birth by a 10-year-old girl. This piglet followed the girl everywhere. When she could escape the family yard she would quietly follow the girl to school. Betty liked to lie and let the children scratch her ears and stomach. Until the teacher discovered her! The teacher would send the little girl home, Betty following close behind her. Sometimes her mother would let the girl stay home. (She would have walked over 3 miles that morning.) Sometimes the mother would saddle a horse and take her back to school. It would then be a while before
Betty would get to visit school again. When Betty became a mother most of the little girls at school wanted a baby pig.
Della May Clifford
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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