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Tuesday, March 20, 1951

LONG VALLEY --- A lady named Mrs. J. Campbell Thompson wrote me a letter from Clearwater, Florida, the other day and asked if I knew any way to make the kids down there stop killing birds.

“The young boys are wounding and killing many of them by various means,” she said. “Florida is a wonderful sanctuary for birds of all kinds and we wish to keep it so.”

Well, the boys want to keep it that way too --- if they’ll stop to think a little. The trouble is that when a kid gets a new B-B gun or his first slingshot, he doesn’t think about much else.

I remember a time when I was a kid that the boys took potshots at every redheaded woodpecker we saw. We didn’t have anything against the birds. They just made handy targets. Our old maid schoolteacher wanted to stop us and was pretty smart about it. She took us out in the woods on a “nature tour” and explained that woodpeckers didn’t hammer the tree trunks just for fun but to eat insects that kill trees by worming under the bark. We started thinking about woodpeckers as friends of ours then, and stopped bothering them.

Maybe the teacher in Clearwater ought to led the boys tot he nearest swamp and let them swat mosquitoes awhile --- and explain how many more mosquitoes there’d be if it weren’t for the birds around there.

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In 1951, Hopalong Cassidy had a daily column that appeared in a number of newspapers across the country.  Sagebrush Entertainment, Inc. is pleased to share these columns with you and will present them on a weekly basis.

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