The School Pet

A beloved school pet was found in an unlikely place...the outhouse.

| Good Old Days

The boys' outhouse provided an unexpected lesson in sex education. One recess, the boys came rushing to the schoolhouse to report that a turtle had fallen into the outhouse pit. To lift the hapless turtle from its predicament, we used a hoe which I kept for killing the unwelcome rattlesnakes that sometimes invaded our playground. A bath at the windmill soon made the turtle presentable again, and the students clamored to keep it. They provided water, lettuce, bits of bread, and a few grasshoppers; and the turtle thrived. Of course, a pet turtle must have a name.

Taking an idea from a popular cartoon, someone suggested "Myrtle, the Turtle." "Oh, no!" piped up a kindergarten boy. "We can't name him that. He was in the boys' toilet." The rest of the students acceded and selected the name Tommy. Tommy lived happily at school until the end of the year when he was released at a nearby pond.

Mae Rose King
Lewellen, 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.

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