07 July 2012

A New Kind of Watchdog

W. Kerrick, who lives in one of the Jackson cottages on L street, has a patriotic but peculiar guardian for his garden, the same being a genuine living American eagle of the bald head variety, measuring several feet, more or less, from tip to tip, and looking for all the world as if he had just hopped off the back side of a ten-dollar piece. This biped was purchased a few weeks since from a man who slightly shot and captivated him near Stockton. His wings were clipped, and Kerrick turned him loose at once in the garden, on patrol. The bird of liberty forthwith took possession, and has become monarch of all he surveys. Little children are frightened to a respectful distance by the demoniacal expression of his august countenance, and woe betides the cat, rat, pigeon or other small creature that strays within reach of his powerful talons. He has become remarkably tame, considering the short time he has been in custody. Of a warm day he goes every few hours to a large tub near the kitchen door, takes a deliberate drink, and then gets in and wallows about, in a rather undignified manner, for a royal bird. Then he perches himself on a sort of bench beneath a fig tree, to dry his bedraggled feathers, winking solemnly meantime, and if anybody comes near him he warns him away by making the remark, "Krake! krake! krake!" in the most preemptory tones. When he is not ducking or drying himself he perambulates the garden, seeking whom he may devour, and no urchin is going to steal fruit from that garden as long as that eagle "still lives."

April 21, 1864. Sacramento Daily Union 27(4082): 3.