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Martha: Last of the Passenger Pigeons

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Published on Oct 17, 2010

This is the story of the last Passenger Pigeon on Earth. Passenger Pigeons used to fly in flocks of over a billion birds. They roamed all over this continent, and into Canada and Mexico. If a flock was to fly over your neighborhood, it would literally darken the skies for a week or more. If they were to land in a forest or something in your neighborhood, when they would rise the next morning it would look like it had snowed from maybe two or three inches of droppings. They were hunted for their plumage and their edible meat. By the end of the 1800s there was only fourteen left, and by 1914 there was only two left. They were in the Cincinnati Zoo. It was a male and a female, and the last to die was the female, and they had given her the name of Martha. This is the story of that.


High above the trees and the reeds, like rainbows
they landed soft as moonglow.
In greens and reds, they fluttered past the windows.
But nobody cared or saw...

'til the hungry came in crowds,
with their guns and dozers.
And soon the peace was over.
God, what were they thinking of? On and on, 'til dreams come true.
You know a piece of us all goes with you...

The birds went down.
They fell, and they faded to the dozens.
'Til in a Cincinnati zoo was the last one.

Yes, all that remained was the last
with a name of Martha.
Very proud, very sad, but very wise.

And though lines filed by, there were few who cared
or could be bothered
How could anyone have treated you harder?
And it was all for a dollar or more... On and on, 'til dreams come true.
You know a piece of us all goes with you...

And surrounded there by some of whom wept around her.
In a corner of the cage they found her.
She went as soft as she came, so shy, 'til the last song.
The Passenger Pigeon
was gone... -by John Herald


But nobody cared or saw...there were few who cared, or could be bothered... Humans were able to drive the second most common animal in recorded history to extinction in only a few hundred years, and all because of greed, ignorance, and stupidity. God, what WERE they thinking of? How could anyone have treated them harder? The same thing happened has happened to creatures before, and is continuing to happen to them to this day. Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon on Earth, died on September 1st, 1914. The Passenger Pigeon, one of the most beautiful creatures ever to grace the Earth, is gone forever. And it was all for a dollar or more...

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