Sleeping Schoolteacher Pranked in One-Room Schoolhouse

Students of a one-room schoolhouse played a trick on the schoolteacher.

| Good Old Days

Prairie Dell, the one-room schoolhouse I attended from September, 1921, to April, 1929, was located on the northeast section of Piatt County, Illinois.

One year a young man was our teacher. The children were playing outside during the last recess. A hot south wind was blowing that September afternoon. I was thirsty and went inside to get my drinking cup. I crept back outside and told the children the teacher was asleep on the recitation bench. One of the boys said, "He went to see his girl last night. Let's play a trick on him."

The older boys untied the two ponies from the fence beside the stile, and tied them to the fence back of the boys' toilet. All were very quiet. The teacher soon came outside to the front step and rang the bell long and hard. The children didn't make a sound. The teacher locked the schoolhouse door, got into his Model- T Ford, and left. Some of us, including me, felt guilty. We could not get inside to get our dinner pails. So we went home.

Mrs. Guyneth Walker
Atwood, Illinois

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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