Dickey Downy by Virginia Sharpe Patterson

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Page 1

Copyright 1899 by the


From the Society's own Press


my dear children

Laura, Virgie, and Robert George

this little Volume is

Affectionately Inscribed


This beautiful volume has been written for a good purpose. I had the
pleasure of reading the proof-sheets of the book while in the
Yellowstone National Park, where no gun may be lawfully fired at any of
God's creatures. All animals there are becoming tame, and the great
bears come out of the woods to feed on the garbage of the hotels and
camps, fearless of the tourists, who look on with pleasure and wonder
at such a scene.

"The child is father of the man," and this volume is addressed to the
heart and imagination of every child reader. If children are taught to
love and protect the birds they will remember the lesson when they grow
old. When children learn to prefer to take a "snap-shot" at a bird
with a camera, rather than with a gun, they will protect these
feathered friends for their beauty, even if they do not regard them for
their usefulness.

Nature has supplied a system of balances if left to itself. Some forms
of insect life are so prolific that but for the voracity and industry
of the birds the world would become almost uninhabitable.

Bird life appeals to the eye for its beauty, to the ear for its music,
and to the interest of man for its utility. Shooting-clubs have
foreseen the extermination that awaits many of the finest of the game
birds, and are taking much pains to enforce the laws enacted for game
protection. A selfish interest thus is called into activity, and one
class of birds is receiving protection through the aid of its own

But the birds of beautiful plumage are now threatened with extinction
by the desire of womankind for personal decoration. Against this
destruction Audubon societies are organizing a crusade, and Mrs.
Patterson's principal purpose in this book is to direct attention to
the wholesale slaughter of the birds of plumage and song.

The Princess of Wales was requested to write in an album her various
peculiarities. Among the inquiries was: "What is your greatest
weakness?" She answered: "Millinery."

When Napoleon was banished to Elba it is stated that the fallen monarch
was followed by Josephine's old millinery bills. How many of these
bills were for the plumage of slaughtered birds the historian does not
say. But the passion for the beautiful is very strong in the tender
hearts of women, and an earnest appeal to the natural gentleness of the
sex must be made to enlist them in the defense of the birds.

Mrs. Patterson enters upon this task with enthusiasm, and many a bird
will live to flutter through the trees or glisten in the sunshine and
gladden the earth with its beauty that but for this little book would
have perched for a brief season upon the headgear of some lovely woman.

Let the good work go on until the mummy of a dead bird will be
recognized by all persons as an unfitting decoration for the head of

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 5th Jun 2020, 22:30