Page:The Passenger Pigeon - Mershon.djvu/196

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CHAPTER XIII

What Became of the Wild Pigeon?

By Sullivan Cook, from "Forest and Stream," March 14, 1903.[1]

When a boy and living in northern Ohio, I often had to go with a gun and drive the pigeons from the newly sown fields of wheat. At that time wheat was sown broadcast, and pigeons would come by the thousands and pick up the wheat before it could be covered with the drag. My father would say, "Get the gun and shoot at every pigeon you see," and often I would see them coming from the woods and alighting on the newly sowed field. They would alight until the ground was fairly blue with these beautiful birds.

I would secrete myself in a fence corner, and as these birds would alight on the ground they would form themselves in a long row, canvassing the field for grain, and as the rear birds raised up and flew over those in front, they reminded one of the little breakers on the ocean beach, and as they came along in this form, they resembled a windrow of hay rolling across the field.

  1. I think that anyone who reads this article will be, like myself, satisfied that the destruction of the pigeons was wrought to gratify the avarice and love of gain of a few men who slaughtered them until they were virtually exterminated. — W, B. M.