The two room school with a stage in Hankís Holler announced a box supper
night. The little school was always doing something to raise a bit of money for chalk and
other necessary items for the operation of the learning institution. They called it the school
with a stage because an addition had been added on one side and was a nice performing
stage. The wall of both rooms had been removed on that side, and the audience of each
room could see the stage, but the wall between the room prevented them from seeing each
other. It was a unique arrangement, but it suited the occasion of a box supper nicely.
The young ladies of the community prepared lunches in decorated boxes,
took them to the
stage area through an outside door, and returned to the seats through the regular school
door. The front door opened into a small entrance way. From that area there were two
doors, one leading to the left and one to the right. They opened into the two school
rooms. As the supper guests arrived, the ladies were directed to the left room and the men
to the right.
Of course the men knew their wifeís box and were expected to bid on
it and get it for the
supper. The real competition was among the unmarried ladies and gentlemen. The pretty
young school teacher, Opal, was a prize worth bidding on, and several young men of the
holler were anxious to get her box and eat with her.
But Opal had a favorite boy friend, Harry. He came by the school often
and walked her
home to her boarding place in the Holler. The mischievous students, Pat and Mike, often
hid in the brush by the trail and listened closely to the conversation between the two. This
day they heard Miss Opal telling Harry how to recognize her box. It would have a red,
blue and white ribbon bow on top of the white handle. He couldnít miss it.
Of course Pat and Mike immediately spread the news to the other young
men who were
interested. But they didnít stop there - they persuaded several young ladies to decorate
their boxes in the same manner.
The box supper was a riot. The old timers said that the supper
raised more money than
any they could remember. When the first box was up for auction, the bidding was lively.
Finally, one of the wealthier fellows got it and looked inside at the name. It wasnít Opal.
He sat silently with a dejected look on his face. The next box came up. It was almost
identical. Again the bidding went above a dollar. Again, the high bidder was disappointed.
This process continued until six similarly decorated boxes had been
auctioned. Harry had
been outbid on all of the offerings. He only had three dollars. The next few boxes were
different, but were snatched up for twenty-five or fifty cents. Then the last one came up -
it, too, had the proper bow on the handle.
Harry started the bidding at twenty-five cents. Poor Harry got the box
for the opening bid.
All of the opposition had spent their money on the counterfeit boxes and he got the real
one from Miss Opal.
Everyone found their lunch cooks and enjoyed the evening.
For the first time in history,. a school teacherís box sold for the low bid.
Pat and Mike stared through the window and laughed hysterically