Our Ray of “Sunshine”


I wish I could tell every little boy and girl about our pony “Sunshine” and how happy my brother and I were the day he came. When we started out to get subscriptions to win a pony, people would tell us we were foolish and the Webb Publishing Company never gave away real live ponies, and then I would go home and cry, for my brother and I both wanted a pony so bad. But we kept right on trying our very best.

Then the contest finally closed and all we could think of or talk about was our pony, wondering if we would sure win one. Several days had passed by and we had not heard a word and we all began to think there was nothing to it.  Then Sunday morning came and we were all going in the country to spend the day. So after we got into the auto to go we children asked Papa if he would drive down past the post office to see if we had heard anything. So we did, and sure enough there was a letter from the Webb Publishing Co. and Papa came back out to the car and handed it to me. Oh my! I was so nervous I could not open it, so Mama had to open it and read it to us and it read something like this, “We know you will be glad to hear that you have won ‘Sunshine’ and his outfit, which will be shipped to you at once.” Oh! dear. Can you imagine how we acted? We just laughed and cried both. Then Darold and I just would not go in the country until we went down to the church where my grandma and grandpa were and called them out of the church and told them about it, and they were just about as excited as we were. By Monday morning everybody in Wessington knew that we had won “Sunshine.”

Then several days passed by and our pony had not yet come and nearly everybody was saying we would not get a pony, and I just about made up my mind the same way till one morning when the 10:30am train came in, there was “Sunshine.” They brought him down to the house in the day. Our house is just across the street from the schoolhouse and we were at school, but we did not stay there long after we saw the pony. Neither did the rest of the children. Our yard was full in five minutes after “Sunshine” was uncrated.  There was no more school for us the rest of that day. We were so happy we did not know what to do. We could hardly stay away from him long enough to eat our meals.

It was several more days before the buggy came. We were so well pleased with the buggy and so was “Sunshine.” He would just trot along so proud, just as though he knew he was won in a contest.

I wish I could tell you all of the good times we have had with “Sunshine,” but it would take a whole magazine to do it, but I am going to tell you one of the best times we have had. My brother and another little boy, seven years old and I drove to my Uncle’s who lives eight miles from town. This was quite a ways so we started early in the morning before it got so warm. We did not know much about ponies so we did not know just what they could stand. So I made the boys get out and walk up every hill and we stopped at two or three houses on the way down and back too, and watered him. We stopped at the alfalfa fields and picked alfalfa and fed him several times. While he ate alfalfa we picked flowers and decorated his harness all up till he just looked too cute for anything. Now, I am not going to tell you how long it took us to go down or come back, for we took our time at it and mama and papa have laughed at us so much about it, but “Sunshine” had just as much fun out of it as we did.

Now, I will tell you what “Sunshine” likes to eat. He will eat any kind of fruit. We will put a big dish of fruit on the table out on the screened porch, such as apples, grapes, peaches and plums and you just ought to see him eat them. He is just crazy about them. He does lots of cute tricks but I just can’t tell you all of them, but I want to say we would not take $500.00 for him.

Now, I want to tell you a little about ourselves and the Webb Publishing Company, then I will quit. I am a little girl ten years old. I have just one brother seven years old. We both worked together very hard for “Sunshine,” so you see “Sunshine” is just as much Darold’s as he is mine.

I want to tell all of the boys and girls that I feel well paid for all the work that I did in the contest and the Webb Publishing Company will do for you just what they say and they certainly give away nice ponies. Don’t be afraid to try in their contests.

by Eva and Darold (South Dakota)

[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.]

Farmer’S Wife Pony Club. (1915)

Lucky Pony Winners. St. Paul, Minn., Webb publishing co. [Pdf] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/15018654/.