Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/909

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Popular Science Monthly


��breadth of imagination and practicability.

Consider Exhibit "A," which originated somewhere in Maine. It borrows from the windmill for its particular vein of humor. Or, as cleverly expressed in the patent paper:

"The object of the present (the italics are ours) invention is to provide a crow jack which will simulate to a certain extent the movements of a human being and will present the external appearance thereof so as to scare or frighten crows or other birds."

Does not that paragraph fairly bubble with laughter?

The "present" — by which is in ferred that there are more to com cornfield classic, when the wind blows, flings its arms in the air, Indian club fashion, and at the same time spins about on one toe. giving a quaint imitation of a cabaret dancer. How the crows would enjoy that! One can see them fairly toppling off the fence rail and clutching their fat little sides in spasms of mirth.

Let us pass on to the next act of this sparkling vaudeville. Ladies and gentlemen — the coyote alarm (at right). Iowa is responsible for this. It looks like a man, but hist! — it is an invention! Where the man's innards ought to be, lies a mechanism.

What might be an orderly, gentlemanly scarecrow has been trans- formed into a creature with lungs of strong steel. In some respects it resembles an alarm clock. Ever>' once in a while a cog disengages itself, and the racket may be plainly heard for miles around. If I were a crow, however, I think I should sneak up ^^ and investigate, out of the stubborn ^' curiosity so characteristic of the

crow. But p>erhaps not. Now contemplate the dude of the scarecrows, with his neatly fitting suit and hat and heavy eyebrov/s.

���This is a Frankenstein creation. It resembles a man but in his chest is a mechanism of springs and cogs. At regular intervals he gives vent to a great bellow

��It usually costs an inventor no less than Sioo to gird the loins of his brain child with the decency and the protection of the law. But the Ohio man who squandered his money to give this gem to the clamoring public may be wealthy. An>"vsay, the Patent Office Gazette is one of the few mag- azines in existence which permit a man to buy his way into print. In a fair wind, V the arms whirl and the body spins. Beyond question, the crows will be highly amused when the little dandy begins to wave his arms and revoke in the wind. If they watch the performance long enough they might drop from sheer dizziness.

Are birds and beasts of prey observing? If so, they have

learned long ere this that Man is provided ordinarily with only one face. Therefore, the intentions of the whirling dervish, with tv\o faces will go far afield. The thing ma\' whirl with the wind as the others do, but what crow with an atom of common sense will fly? L'nIess he happens to be an intemperate bird, he will realize that tvso faces are not the proper number for a man! Perhaps the cornfield gladia- tor pictured on the preceding page might achieve his purpose by causing the crow to laugh itself into apoplexy. If he should clash his arms in today's cornfield, your up-to-date bird would execute a Charlie Chaplin glide. He might even stop to whistle an old tune, p>opular ages ago, entitled "Where did you get that hat?" For the average twentieth century crow is a wise old bird and tame enough to eat from the hand of any scarecrow he chooses.

����At left is a two-faced mon- ster with weather - vane arms. He revolves with the wind. At right is the dude of the scarecrows. His partner beside him not only whirls and twirls as the others do but bobs his head fiercely as well

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