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THE MENAGERIE AT THE PORCH
PIGEONS

PIGEONS AND PEOPLE.
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

In the XI-XIII centuries carrier pigeon in Europe was worth as much as a purebred Arabian stallion. And no wonder - the phone has never been, and the knights with feathered couriers liaised between locks or sent them notes ladies heart. Before them, the pigeons were the subject of a cult and totemic animals - protectors of the people. Amusing totem was the Australian tribes. Dove there patronized only women. And men, if they wanted to bring their friends to distraction, teasing them the carcass of a dead bird.

There was a time when even the city was dedicated to the pigeons. For example, ancient Babylon, where the mythical Queen Semiramis suit hanging gardens, was a city pigeons. Legend tells how at the end of the reign of Semiramis turned into a dove and flew away into the sky. And the Christian religion considers these birds God bird. As a symbol of the resurrection they were put in the graves of the martyrs. In Russia hunting them was the greatest sin, for in them, as thought by our ancestors, moved the souls of dead people.

In Ancient Egypt pigeons were sacrificed, their stuffed animals decorated the house, they worked as a postman in the temples. But all this did not prevent the Egyptians to eat pigeon meat. In Asia, the pigeons did not eat. There were valued for their meat, and manure, which were considered excellent fertilizer bread. But in France and Italy guano was used only for garden and vegetable garden. (Dove for the year up to three pounds of droppings, which for nitrogen four times, but by the content of phosphorus is three times richer than horse manure. Litter, diluted with ten volumes of water, well-watered potted plants, but not more frequently than once a month.)

In the last century pigeons Boyko traded on the markets of Western Europe, and in some villages, these birds are bred in cages, were almost the only meat dish. But the most insatiable appetite were Americans: they " ate wild wandering doves, the flocks were so great, that, flying, closed sun - in this live cloud flying with wings about a billion birds. Where slept the flocks were brought pigs to fatten them up off the meat. Birds were salted and shipped in barrels. Chicks with long sticks were teased from the nest. The end of barbarism was sad: the last representative of the feathered tribe - pigeon named March - died in the zoo of the city of Cincinnati in 1914. Zoologists until her death was hoping to save: he announced a reward of $ 1,500 to someone who will at least see one pigeon. But to find a gentleman failed.

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The menagerie at the porch

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