[From 1907 to 1918, the Webb Publishing Company hired children to sell subscriptions to The Farmer’s Wife magazine. Some of these children, due to their exceptional salespersonship, were awarded the grand prize. The grand prize was a Shetland pony, along with a saddle and bridle. The following letter to the publishing company is written in the winner’s own words.]
One very cold Saturday in January, there came to our house a paper and in it was a row of Shetland ponies with boys and girls riding on them. There was another picture of a little pony which the Webb Publishing Company was going to give away for free. The more I looked at the picture the more I wanted the little pony for my own. My mamma and papa read it and said I might try if I wanted. So I signed my name and mailed it that day and the very day my Certificate of Entry came I began to take subscriptions.
When I first started to get subscriptions, it was pretty hard work, but the more names I got the more I could get and I had lots of pleasant experiences. Some said, “You will not get a pony anyway;” others said that I would. I knew the Webb Publishing Company did just as they agreed , for I wrote some boys and girls who had won ponies and they told me how nice the Webb Publishing Company had been to them. One of the girls I wrote to was Miss Cleta Johnson, who had won “Jerry,” and now she and I write to each other about our ponies and the fine times we have with them, so you see the Webb Publishing Company were the means of my making a new friend, for which I thank them very much. I would say to any little boy or girl who is wishing for a pony to enter the Webb Publishing Company’s Pony Contest and they will surely win a pony for their own if they only work hard enough.
Finally the contest came to a close and then came the anxious days of waiting to know if I had won. Then came my precious letter on Wednesday morning saying that “Tip” would be shipped that week. Saturday night came and no pony. I was most discouraged. Tuesday morning before school my grandpa came down and brought the rest of the outfit which came that morning. Then I felt sure that my pony would soon be here. Wednesday night after school, I got a telephone message that my pony was at the station and may we hustle down after him.
When I saw him my joy knew no bounds. I put my arms around his neck and said, “Oh you little darling.” How I did hug him, I was so glad he had come and was mine. He did not like his ride on the cars at all, for he had ridden 47 hours. “Tip” had kicked himself completely out of his crate and they had to put him in the freight house. We live four miles from the station and I thought we would never get home, for everyone came out to see my pony, for “Tip” is the first pony owned in our town. One lady said she just wanted to touch him, I suppose to see if he was really alive. We brought him home and turned him loose in a nice box stall we had made on purpose for him. “Tip” was Oh, so hungry and tired. He would eat a little then lie down; they get up and eat some more, then lie down. The next day he seemed rested some so I put on his saddle and bridle and rode him a little. “Tip” is just as gentle as he can be.
“Tip” will follow me all over with no halter on. He will come up the steps onto the porch into the house and look out of the windows. I have a big bull-dog named “Sport” and he will hold “Tip’s” halter rope so “Tip” can eat grass on the lawn. “Tip” dearly loves apples and will take them out of my pocket. He will shake hands and do many cute things, but all of the children that play with him, he seems to like me best. He does not like strangers at all. I draw wood for mamma and take eggs to town for groceries for her and mama pays me for all I do, so you see “Tip” is making me rich.
I cannot begin to tell you the good times I have had since “Tip” came to live with me. I have always been sickly but now I play with “Tip” so much out of doors that I am getting strong and well. I have had lots of chances to sell “Tip,” but money cannot buy him, for my heart would be broken if I ever had to part with him. And I know “Tip’s” would be too for we are such friends. We all like The Farmer’s Wife very much and “Tip” and the whole family enjoy reading it.
I give “Tip” a bath real often and braid his mane and tail to make him look nice. He likes to be curried and fussed with. When winter comes I am going to have a new sled to hitch “Tip” to, then we will have jolly times in the snow. So you see “Tip” is making me very happy, also my little friends.
If all little boys and girls could only have a pony like my “Tip,” I am sure they would all love it as dearly as I do “Tip” and have as many good times as I do. I am sure they would be very much happier. Since “Tip” came to live with me I have company nearly every day and all the children love “Tip” most as much as I do for I let them all ride him, but I am sure “Tip” likes me best of all.
I can never thank The Farmer’s Wife enough for sending “Tip” to me.
by Chester (New York)
Farmer’S Wife Pony Club.
Lucky Pony Winners. St. Paul, Minn., Webb publishing co, 1915. Pdf. https://www.loc.gov/item/15018654/.