THE ONE ROOM SCHOOL
By Donna Penley
It was a one room schoolhouse in Missouri; went there with my cousins,
An’, we rode there on horseback. I think there was just a dozen
Of us kids attending, the two years I was there.
We bigger kids sat at the back; so’s the littler ones could see
The blackboard Miss Talbot wrote on, teachin’ them their A B C’s,
An’ writin’ an’ ‘rythmetic.
Then we ate our lunch pail lunches -- sandwiches an’ apple fritters;
An’ we’d go outside for recess. Boys teasin’ girls or huntin’ critters
In nearby Sandy Crick.
You see, those was simple times; lessons taught by rote.
We found who our true friends were an’ got good at passin’ notes,
An’ not getting’ caught by teacher.
We played tricks on us an’ on her, too. She took it all in stride. An’
That schoolmarm wouldn’t back down, when it came time to tan a hide,
Or two of us bigger younguns.
I discovered my first true love there; an’ I can still see his smile today.
We learned by example what honesty was. That bein’ a cheat sure didn’t pay –
Benefit of Miss Talbot.
We loved our teacher an’ our school. She never let on we were poor.
She taught us to be brave an’ strong—to knock upon life’s door –
An’ will the outcome to be good.
In later years I left, attended schools with high ideals,
Of learnin’ an’ art an’ politics, but my heart knows what is real –
Compliments of that little one room school,
AN’ OUR TEACHER, MISS TALBOT!!
Donna Penley is a Cowgirl Poet with deep Kansas roots who has been writing cowboy poetry for over twenty five years. She is a real Cowgirl and an ex-barrel racer.
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