Outhouse Snake

This true story has been told down through the years about my husband’s parents. This happened about 45 years ago in southeast Missouri.

Every day when Dad came home from work, he immediately made his way down the path with his newspaper, to the little house out back. There he stayed for a long, long time. The family patiently, or rather impatiently, waited while their supper got colder and colder. Finally, Mom decided something must be done, so she had a plan. The next day, Dad came in from work and followed his usual habit.

Mom waited a few minutes until she was sure Dad was settled. Then she quietly slipped down through the woods and came up behind the outhouse. There was a knot hole in a board on the outhouse, directly behind where Dad sat. Mom poked a stick through the knot hole, touching Dad as she yelled out loudly, “SNAKE!” Dad sprang up, grabbed his overalls with both hands and ran for his life. What a shock! Needless to say, Dad didn’t tarry in the outhouse anymore and Mom didn’t have to reheat supper. 

Mary Chatman
Yakima, Washington

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.