It’s not uncommon to hear the term old wives tales. There have been plenty of them throughout time. I’ve shared a few during the life of this blog. One such fallacy was the notion of what was called child bed sickness. I’m not certain what that was, all I know was that a mother who experienced this was not to drink water. Today we know that this is ridiculous. If pioneer women died from this sickness it was because they didn’t drink water. The human body can only go three days without water before it shuts down. I’m sure you also heard that there was a time when tomatoes were considered poisonous. Thank heaven that this is a fallacy because I love them. Pioneer Rhoda Richards Stevenson states that a pioneer mother had to make sure her children never did what first thing in the morning if the child was to stay healthy?
a. Walk on a lawn with dew
c. Run in the early morning air
d. Eat breakfast
(C) The family cow
The following from the autobiography of singer, Nellie Druce Pugsley. Her family immigrated to Salt Lake City in 1860. It was here that she was born: Time was valuable, and I practiced in my kitchen as well as in the parlor. In seasonable weather, the doors and windows were kept wide open for deep breathing, and the entire neighborhood was accustomed to me singing. Brother Irvin Noall said recently that as a boy he always loved to pass our house and hear me singing at my work.
My most unusual audience was a Jersey cow. We usually kept one cow, and this was my favorite. She would wander all over the yard in the morning before going out to pasture, and when I would start to sing, she would come to the kitchen steps , put her feet up on the second or third step, look into the kitchen, and just stand there until I stopped singing.
Chronicles of Courage, Daughters of Utah Pioneers (Salt Lake City: Lesson Committee, 1993), V4:322.