About $20,000 of wild pigeons are caught in Essex County, Mass. every season, and how do our readers suppose they are caught?
They are first attracted to certain places in the woods cleared of brushwood by strewing grain on the ground. Thus they are drawn by habit to the places where they are to be snared, and are at the same time fatted by the grain thrown to them.
When a sufficient number have congregated to make it worth while to entrap them the grain is saturated with whiskey, which steals away their brains, and being stupefied, they become willing victims of the trappers.
The net is then by the use of saplings as springs thrown over the fuddled flock, and when they attempt to rise they are tangled in its meshes.
Poor pigeons! They would not willingly take the whiskey, by which they are snared to their ruin, but they are deceived and so led captive.
And how many young men are snared in the same way. If they would let intoxicating liquor alone which steals away their brains, they would escape many a net that is thrown over them.
How many have committed crimes under the influence of liquor, over which they have afterwards shed bitter tears, and from which they would have shrunk back in horror were they sober. The wine-cup leads thousands into nets they attempt in vain to extricate themselves.
Let our young readers and older ones too if they are yielding to a dangerous habit remember how pigeons are caught! If you would keep out of snares that will prove fatal to reputation, prosperity, health and life, beware of intoxicating drinks.
Every community has its traps for catching just such pigeons, and every community alas furnishes too many just silly enough to be caught.
There goes one now, while we are writing, for his morning dram! He sees not the net that is being woven for him. Poor pigeon! His little ones will perhaps suffer for his folly.July 14, 1859. How pigeons are caught. Rockland County Messenger 14(11): 2.