Thursday, November 29, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1947

The Stories

(No images for the time being. I've exceeded my Google photo space.)

January 1. (continued from 1946) Little Joe Otter gets a whiff of man smell and leaves. (Reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond)

January 2 to January 6. Rabbits, hares, and grouse are adapted to snow in different ways.

January 7 to January 22. Winter is tough for Reddy Fox, as he hunts meadow mice, leads dogs away from Mrs. Reddy, and loses a stolen fish to a bald eagle. 

January 23 to February 3. Peter is surprised to find Kitty the Catbird overwintering. Kitty tells Peter about the rain forests in the tropics.

February 4 to February 24. Spike the young buck lords his antlers over his twin sister Daintyfoot but is dismayed when they fall off. Later Yowler the bobcat is tempted by the twins but contents himself using fallen antlers as bait for mice. Then Chatterer, who also wants the antlers, regrets using his voice when Yowler and Hooty the Owl come after him.

February 25 to March 11. An irruption brings evening and pine grosbeaks as well as crossbills to the Old Orchard. Tommy Tit is surprised to discover the crossbills are already nesting.

March 12 to March 22. Johnny Chuck has relatives large (marmot) and small (chipmunk). Flip the Terrier is surprised at Johnny Chuck's speed and climbing ability.

March 24 to March 29. Peter Rabbit is surprised to learn that Whitefoot the Wood Mouse is the mysterious singer.

March 31 to April 19. After the Yellow Wings (flickers) lose their nest cavity in the telephone pole to the Kestrels, they excavate a new home. Later Yellow Wing compares his tongue to that of Old Mr. Toad.

April 21 to May 10. The Wood Ducks move into a home installed by Farmer Brown's boy but find their eggs constantly threatened by Chatterer the Red Squirrel. Farmer Brown's boy takes their eggs (to be raised by Little Mrs. Bantam) and squirrel-proofs the box. 

May 12 to May 13. Happy Jack's breakfast of maple buds benefits the evening grosbeaks, who lick sap from the broken twigs.

May 14 to May 23. Peter Rabbit inadvertently leads Reddy Fox to the Woodcocks' nest. Farmer Brown's boy intervenes to stop Reddy.

May 24 to June 12. Mrs. Jimmy Skunk and Mrs. Jerry Muskrat compare child-rearing responsibilities. The baby muskrats must learn about dangers in the Smiling Pool, especially snapping turtles. Then raccoons and skunks feast on snapping turtle eggs.

June 13 to June 17. Peter learns about the Tumblebugs.

June 18 to July 16. A variety of swallows arrive, each with different ideas about building homes. Twitter the Purple Martin chases off Sharpshin the Hawk. Farmer Brown's boy provides mud for the barn swallows. And young bank swallows must learn the hard way where to best position their holes. Meanwhile Farmer Brown's boy must decide whether he should kill the egg-stealing black snake and Jimmy Skunk feasts on black snake eggs. 

July 17 to August 1. Peter Rabbit learns about glass snakes, skinks, newts, and king snakes.

August 2 to August 20. New bears cubs have misadventures involving a rattlesnake, a honey tree, and a porcupine. Mother Bear is there to make sure things don't get out of hand.

August 21 to September 4. Quilly the young porcupine is dismayed to find he can't actually throw his quills. Then he makes a mess of the sugar house (attracted by salt) until he gets stuck in a potato bag.

September 5 to September 6. Peter Junior watches fireflies with his parents

September 8 to September 19. Polly Chuck is worried about Little Golden Coat, her blonde daughter, because she is too conspicuous. Aunt Sally and Reddy Fox take notice.

September 20 to September 30. Old Mr. Toad is up to familiar business, changing and eating his suit, using his lightning tongue, and encountering Bluffer the Adder. Farmer Brown's boy comes to the rescue and can't help teasing Bluffer.

October 1 to October 9. Farmer Brown's boy refuses to help a collector who wants a golden woodchuck skin for his museum. Later Polly Chuck shows Little Golden Coat how to trick Shadow the Weasel. And then abandons her.

October 10 to October 29. Peter Rabbit learns about sphinx moths, leaf-cutter bees, and tiny carpenter bees. 

October 30 to November 8. Buster Bear decides to go to sleep out in the open under the snow. 

November 10 to November 14. When a tree threatening storm approaches Mrs. Happy Jack must quickly move her babies.

November 15 to November 26. Muskrats raise children in an old beaver home. [A "true story."] Then young otters have fun learning to swim.

November 27 to December 6. Peter Rabbit continues to believe there are signs predicting a bad winter. Mrs. Rabbit disagrees.

December 8 to December 13. The beavers lock themselves in for the winter but the kits manage to get in one last (very short) adventure outside.

December 15 to December 24. Whitey the Snowy Owl is back, threatening Danny Meadow Mouse and competing with Reddy Fox for barnyard rats. Meanwhile it looks for a moment like Blacky the Crow has been caught by Whitey. 

December 25. "Blacky's Merry Christmas" [Unread. Many newspapers did not print Christmas issues.]

December 26 to December 27. Mother Brown wonders whether she is spoiling the birds by feeding them. She needn't worry.

December 29 to December 31. Snowflake the Snow Bunting tells stories about the folks who live in the frozen north. (continued in 1948)


Noteworthy in 1947 was a series of stories about "Little Golden Coat," a blonde woodchuck apparently based on a real-life animal. As in earlier Burgess stories about albino and melanistic "freaks," the young female woodchuck with the unique coat was ostracized by her fellows for being dangerously conspicuous. This time, however, Farmer Brown's boy did not take her home as a pet but instead protected her indirectly, posting a special "no trespassing" sign that was large enough to be seen from the highway.

The most significant threat to "Little Golden Coat," however, was not from hunters, but from the world of science:
One day a stranger appeared and introduced himself. He said he did some collecting for the Natural History Museum.  
"I have heard that you have an unusual Woodchuck on your place here. I should like to see it," said he. 
Farmer Brown's boy looked at him suspiciously. "Is that all you want, just to see it?" he asked. 
"Well, if it is really very unusual I should like to collect it for the museum to add to our collection of Woodchuck skins, or perhaps to mount if it is rare enough," said he. 
"Then I am afraid you can't see it," replied Farmer Brown's boy promptly.
There is a long history of naturalists getting a free pass when it comes to the killing ("collection") of animals for scientific purposes. (Burgess's hero Hornaday had been a master taxidermist). In this story Farmer Brown's boy refused to cooperate with those who want to make a rare thing "still more rare."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1946

The Stories

(Note: No images for the near future. I've exceeded my Google photo space allotment.)

January 1. (continued from 1945). Whitey the Snowy Owl steals duck from hunter.

January 2 to January 12. Peter Rabbit accuses Reddy Fox of eating Johnny Chuck (he's actually in another hole). Peter searches for more "seven sleepers."

January 14 to January 19. Peter Rabbit is surprised to find a butterfly (mourning cloak) in the winter. Then he encounters a wooly bear caterpillar.

January 21 to January 26. Peter Rabbit  learns about shrews and moles.

January 28 to February 1. Flathorns the Moose tells Lightfoot the Deer about wolves and wolverines.

February 2. Peter Rabbit believes in Groundhog Day. Mrs. Peter doesn't. 

February 4 to February 9. Chickaree the Red Squirrel is chased by Spite the Marten who is chased by Pekan the Fisher.

February 11 to February 18. Jerry and Mrs. Jerry Muskrat move into their old home when the ice gets too thick in the Smiling Pool. Jerry, bored with eating and sleeping, decides to have an adventure and "chases" Farmer Brown's boy away.

February 19 to February 26. Spooky the Screech Owl ends up in Farmer Brown's fireplace again.

February 27 to March 11. Hooty the Owl, desperate with hunger because of a sore foot (porcupine quill), tries to catch a hen but is stopped by Farmer Brown's boy.

March 12 to March 16. Peter Rabbit is surprised to find Winsome and Mrs. Winsome bluebirds in the cedar swamp during the winter.

March 18 to March 22. Peter Rabbit learns that mourning cloak butterflies make a buzzing sound. 

March 25 to April 13. The beavers must work quickly and carefully (Old Man Coyote) to fix a break in the dam.  (Retold in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond).

April 15 to April 22. After Mrs. Honker is injured by a hunter, Honker the Goose must decide whether to stay with her or move on with his flock. (Reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond)

April 23 to April 27. Peter and Mrs. Peter communicate with each other through thumping. Meanwhile Mrs. Peter finds a rival rabbit to be dreamy.

April 29 to May 6. Old Mr. Toad has adventures on the way to the Smiling Pool.

May 7 to May 30. Peter Rabbit listens to the songs of the thrushes. Then he meets Solly the Solitary Sandpiper and is amazed by Teeter the Sandpiper's precocious children (and also Teeter's diving ability).

May 31 to June 4. Grandfather Frog escapes from Longlegs the Heron. Then he regrets trying to eat a stag beetle.

June 5 to July 9. The adventures of Little Squeak the Meadow Mouse. He hangs out with Old Mr. Toad under the board, learns about the folks at the Smiling Pool, and avoids Hooty the Owl and Reddy the Fox. Reddy Fox and Johnny Chuck talk about the value of predators in controlling the population of meadow mice.

July 10 to July 11. Sammy Jay fights off Black Pussy, who is looking for young robins.

July 12 to July 20. Mrs. Grouse proves to be too much work for a young fox.

July 22 to July 25. Mrs. Peter Rabbit hides her babies from predators (including Jimmy Skunk).

July 26 to August 2. Mrs. Sweetvoice the Vesper Sparrow makes her nest in a cow footprint covered by ferns.

August 3 to August 13. Sally Sly lays her egg in a red-eyed vireo nest. The bird neighbors are disgusted.

August 14 to August 20. Mrs. Happy Jack fights off Mr. Blacksnake.

August 21 to September 21. Chucky and Wobblenose (Johnny Chuck's and Peter Rabbit's grandsons) have an adventure after Farmer Brown's boy (protecting his garden) relocates them to the Old Pasture. [Tommy admits to a hunter friend that he would have had to shoot them had they continued to be pests]. Wobblenose must determine whether Reddy Fox is friend or foe.

September 23 to October 5. Peter Rabbit learns about Cousin Egret the White Heron [he speaks with a Southern accent] and Li'l Blue (the Little Blue Heron). 

October 7 to October 12. Peter Rabbit learns about Tree Swallows and Barn Swallows.

October 14 to October 21. Mrs. Quack wonders if ducks have a future. Old Pintail, whose mate had been shot, asserts that ducks need more refuges. Meanwhile a thoughtful duck hunter refutes the arguments of his "thoughtless" friend. 

October 22 to November 6. Jerry Muskrat has one way of opening clams; Blacky the Crow has another.

November 7 to November 9. Rattles the Kingfisher shows Peter Rabbit the specialized toes he uses to dig.

November 11 to November 12. Reddy Fox and Blacky the Crow talk about the great feast they have during hunting season.

November 13 to November 21. Slowpoke the Box Turtle gets ready for winter.

November 22 to November 25. Peter Rabbit wonders what wasps do during the winter.

November 26 to December 3. Striped Chipmunk and Happy Jack Squirrel narrowly avoid Shadow the Weasel. Shadow decides not to attack Spooky the Screech Owl.

December 4 to December 7. Prickly Porky cuts more food than he eats but other animals benefit from it. 

December 9 to December 12. Happy Jack's food supply is trapped in the frozen ground.

December 13 to December 23. Farmer Brown's boy tries to rescue four young grouse caught under the ice crust. Only three survive.

December 24. Downy Woodpecker eats insect eggs in the Old Orchard.

December 25. "The Little Good Will Tree" [Unread. Many newspapers did not publish on Christmas.]

December 26 to December 31. Paddy the Beaver watches playful Little Joe Otter with suspicion. (Partially reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond).


1946 represented another "familiar" year for Burgess stories. It is perhaps most notable for a shift in Burgess's attitude toward hunting, which had started in 1945 with the deer-hunting-prevents-overpopulation story. In 1946 there were two additional stories that modified the hard anti-hunting position that Burgess had asserted earlier in the 1940s. In one story, Tommy Brown, chatting with a friend who happened to be a hunter, admitted that human needs came first--that a rabbit or a woodchuck who became a pest in the garden might have to be shot if non-lethal methods failed. This was not technically a change in Burgess's beliefs. Indeed in Radio Nature League scripts he had explicitly allowed for the elimination of individual animals as long as the entire species was not targeted. To have Farmer Brown's boy admit such in a story, however, was different.

 The second story, which followed a longer (and familiar) grievance by Mrs. Quack and an old Pintail, featured a "thoughtless" hunter complaining about the decline in duck numbers and about new regulations banning certain hunting practices and lowering bag limits. His companion, a "thoughtful" hunter, scolded him, explaining that his attitude would eventually lead to the end of duck hunting altogether. The fact that Burgess would actually represent a hunter character (who had already killed several ducks in the story) in a positive light is a definite shift from his earlier condemnation of recreational hunting, but may also be a rhetorical strategy--a way to modify hunters' attitudes without risking alienating them.  Burgess's unwavering support of William Hornaday (who had died in 1937) had apparently lost him many friends in the hunting community. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1945

The Stories

January 1 to January 13. Peter Rabbit falls in a deep hole. Blacky the Crow expresses dismay that Peter is simply "going to waste." Flip, alerted by crows, finds Peter and fetches Farmer Brown's boy.

January 15 to January 17. Farmer Brown and his boy are thinning out trees in the Green Forest. Chatterer the Red Squirrel is indignant while Mrs. Grouse likes the brush piles produced by felled trees.

January 18 to February 13. Chatterer the Red Squirrel uses his wits to reclaim his tree hole from Saw-whet the Acadian Owl. Then Chatterer moves into the Old Orchard to avoid Shadow the Weasel. After he starts feeding from the corn crib, Farmer Brown's boy puts out corn ears for him. 

February 14 to March 7. Getting enough food is tough for many animals during the winter, particularly Reddy and Mrs. Reddy Fox. Lightfoot's family, having exhausted the food in their yard, is also starving. Meanwhile, Little Joe Otter is doing fine. Reddy steals his fish. (Partially reprinted in The Crooked Little Path).

March 8 to March 10. Spring begins to arrive. The deer are delighted while Danny Meadow Mouse grumbles. 

March 12 to March 17. Buster Bear awakes. Peter Rabbit is lucky that Buster doesn't have an appetite right away.

March 19 to March 20. Lightfoot's antler buds cause him some discomfort, but it's worth it.

March 21 to March 24. Peter worries that many birds have migrated north too soon. He is right--a storm kills many, despite Farmer Brown's boy's food supply. 

March 26 to April 3. Unc' Billy Possum explains some things. He disagrees with Reddy Fox about child-rearing. 

April 4 to April 28. A flood strands many animals on rafts. Some rafts land at the Old Briar Patch. Reddy Fox tries to take advantage of the flood to get himself a young muskrat. 

April 30 to May 9. Danny Meadow Mouse moves into a jug, which he thinks is a perfect home until a snake shows up. 

May 10 to May 12. Black Pussy (now a male cat) gives up on chasing Nimbleheels the Jumping Mous
May 14 to May 22. "General Tommy" checks his "allies" (Bob White, Tommy Tit, Jimmy Skunk) in the war against harmful insects (especially Japanese beetles). 

May 23 to June 4. Whitefoot and Mrs. Whitefoot the Wood Mouse move to a bird's nest to avoid snakes. And Shadow the Weasel.

June 5 to June 13. Everyone is afraid Striped Chipmunk has been killed when Shadow the Weasel enters his home. Striped Chipmunk reveals he had simply "closed a door."

June 14. Farmer Brown's boy invites readers to join "Peter Rabbit's Army" and buy extra War Stamps or Bonds.

June 15 to July 7. Jenny Wren breaks English Sparrow eggs to try to get them to leave the Old Orchard. Then Peter Rabbit learns all about marsh wrens.

July 9 to July 17. Mrs. Grouse uses Farmer Brown's boy to drive away Reddy Fox.

July 18 to July 24. Mrs. Happy Jack makes peace with her rival Mrs. Ragtail after she battles Black Pussy. [a "true story"]

July 25 to August 7. Peter Rabbit observes a bee colony and meets lazy (and doomed) Brother Drone, dependent on welfare. 

August 8 to August 16. Peter Rabbit learns about bats.

August 17 to August 25. Peter Rabbit learns about snails.

August 27 to September 5. Little Jimmy Junior follows in his father's footsteps and gets his head stuck in a jar. Farmer Brown's boy shows people (who were going to kill the skunk) that removing the jar is easy and risk-free. Later an owl kills Little Jimmy Junior's brother. 

September 6 to September 28. A smart young fox matches wits with a smart young chuck. The chuck's mother helps him out while the fox recruits his brother for assistance. 

September 29. What is is more important, good eyes, good ears, or a good nose?

October 1 to October 4. Hummer the Hummingbird is a great show-off and not a very helpful father.

October 5 to October 24. After being mistakenly considered a chicken thief, a young fox must learn how to trick pursuing dogs.

October 25 to November 2. A bad acorn crop brings Happy Jack to the Old Orchard. Chatterer the Red Squirrel has a stash of dried mushrooms and pine cones so he doesn't go.

November 3 to December 11. The fawn twins learn many things, including the importance of respecting skunks. Meanwhile Lightfoot escapes from a hunter by submerging himself in the Smiling Pool. A hunter tries to convince Farmer Brown's boy that hunting is needed to prevent the overpopulation and starvation of deer.

December 12 to December 22. Flying squirrels and hares frolic in the moonlight. Hooty and Reddy fight over a young hare.
December 24 to December 31. Peter Rabbit learns that what happens far up north affects what happens near him. For example, snowy owl numbers.


1945 featured what was probably Burgess's most fully realized use of war imagery in his nature stories, as "General Tommy" surveyed his allies in the war against harmful insects (and pitched War Stamps). This was a set of figures that dated back to Burgess's WWI stories, particularly his Green Meadow Bird Sanctuaries campaigns. Bob White, the bird with the "good American name," represented the spirit of freedom; Tommy Tit, Yank Yank the Nuthatch, and Downy Woodpecker were Old Orchard "MP"s; the swallows and nighthawks were the day and evening "allied air force." "Corporal Jimmy" (he had two stripes) helped stem the "invasion" of Japanese beetles, and Farmer Brown's boy recruited new toad allies at the Smiling Pool. The idea that wars were ultimately won on the home-front had been a strong WWI theme; in these stories Burgess provided an outlet for younger readers who couldn't serve in the military to contribute to the war effort. On June 14, Burgess introduced a new club, "Peter Rabbit's Army," with the explicit goal of increasing the sales of War Bonds and Stamps.

Generally speaking Farmer Brown's boy resumed a place of relative centrality in the 1945 stories. The anti-hunting theme was subdued. While Burgess was as critical as ever of dog owners who allowed their pets to chase wildlife, he introduced a measure of doubt into his previously rigid anti-deer hunting stance. In one story one of Tommy's friends has just loaded up a buck onto his car and shows a dismayed Farmer Brown's boy that it is not Lightfoot (now a legendary deer too smart for hunters). When Tommy begins to criticize, his friend fires back that some hunting is in the deer's best interest, better than the starvation (which Burgess had dramatized in many winter stories) that comes with overpopulation. While Tommy admits that he himself could never bring himself to shoot such a beautiful animal, he does give on that point. Burgess's title for the story: "The Hunter was Right."

Friday, November 23, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1944

The Stories

January 1 to January 5. Peter and Mrs. Peter Rabbit come to appreciate the skunks in the Old Briar Patch.

January 6 to January 12. Desperate with hunger, Reddy Fox attacks Hooty the Owl and steals fish from Little Joe Otter. 

January 13 to January 20. Reddy Fox inadvertently discourages Shadow the Weasel from following Peter Rabbit's trail. 

January 21 to January 24. Happy Jack Squirrel talks to Peter Rabbit about thrift and loyalty. 

January 25 to January 26. Chatterer the Red Squirrel taunts Black Pussy, who is stuck in a tree. 

January 27 to January 28. Lightfoot the Deer is humble after he loses his antlers but feels better when he learns Flathorns the Moose loses his too. 

January 29 to January 31. Burgess tells the stories of the "Million little sunbeams" and the "Million little shadows," which help to camouflage the young deer. 

February 1 to February 10. Tommy Tit is warned not to move into the same neighborhood as Spooky the Owl, but decides to stay when Spooky proves to be a good defense against Chatterer the Red Squirrel (who wants to eat him).

February 11 to February 19. Blacky the Crow thinks Peter Rabbit is dead when he gets his foot caught in a hole. Farmer Brown's boy gets him loose.

February 21 to February 25. Farmer Brown's boy and Happy Jack Squirrel match wits over the bird feeder. Farmer Brown's boy "cuts off his line of communication" (an explicit war reference) to keep him from becoming dependent on "welfare."

February 26 to March 11. Hooty and Mrs. Hooty are nesting already. Canada jays [gray jays] have babies even earlier in the year. But bears have the first babies of all. 

March 13 to April 6. Jerry Muskrat is upset that the water level of the Smiling Pool is a little low but learns that beaver dams are an effective way to regulate water levels. Other animals, including wood ducks and pileated woodpeckers, also benefit from beaver ponds  Many settlers arrive at the beaver pond, including the Quacks, Sawbill the Merganser, Longlegs the Heron, and Teeter the Sandpiper.

April 8 to April 14. The Jerry Muskrat Juniors (their father is getting a little gray) build a house. 

April 15 to April 25. Predators stalk ducklings. Only Sharpshin is successful.

April 26 to May 6. Mrs. Longlegs the Heron raises children. Not all of them make it. 

May 8 to May 16. Birds arrive at the Old Orchard, including Goldie the Baltimore Oriole, Glory the Cardinal, and Welcome Robin. Peter Rabbit asks them about gender roles. [Burgess mistakenly asserts that female orioles don't sing].

May 17 to June 5. Peter Rabbit learns about a variety of wasp species. 

June 6 to June 13. Danny Meadow Mouse and Nimbleheels the Jumping Mouse compare tails and dodge predators.

June 14 to July 18. Wabblenose, the young rabbit, gets separated from his family and learns about friends and foes on the Green Meadows and by the Smiling Pool.

July 19 to August 7. Smoky the Gray Fox with the ringed tail visits the Woodhouse Night Club and competes with Handsome the Skunk for Aunt Sally's lap. Later, Farmer Brown's boy experiments with raccoons and rats move into the Night Club.

August 8 to August 31. The raccoons raid cornfields and find an easy living at a frog pond. One young raccoon mistakes a rattlesnake for an eel, another learns to avoid porcupine quills. The raccoons watch as Buster Bear avoids the snake, while Mrs. Lightfoot chases it off. 

August 31 to September 4. Peter Rabbit learns about cicadas and katydids.

September 5 to September 16. A drought affects different animals in different ways. Stickytoes the Tree Toad insists (once again) that he does not have the power to call the rain. 

September 18 to September 22. Peter Rabbit learns how gulls fly and about visitors (eels and salmon) from the Great Ocean.  

September 27 to October 10. Silversides and Mrs. Silversides the Salmon travel upstream to spawn. Later Buster Bear fails to catch the salmon, and gets beat in a fight with Flathorns the Moose, but ends up filling his stomach with beechnuts.

October 11 to October 21. Mrs. Flathorns must choose between two rivals for her affection. Then hunters try to decoy the moose with their treacherous mating calls but Paddy the Beaver saves the day. (Partially reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond).

October 23 to October 31. After his sibling is killed by a falling tree, Flattail the Beaver must help his parents prepare for the winter alone.

November 1 to November 4. Peter Rabbit's grumpy mood is transformed when he discovers a puffball.

November 6 to November 13. Old Mr. Toad is frustrated in his attempts to dig in for the winter. 

November 14 to December 2. Buster Bear wisely decides not to try to get fish from a shack (it was a trap). Then Peter Rabbit tries to learn about bear hibernation. Buster finally goes to sleep, covered with a blanket of snow. (Partially reprinted in The Crooked Little Path)

December 4 to December 8. Blacky the Crow and Creaker the Raven talk admiringly about musquash (muskrats). 

December 9 to December 13. Jerry Muskrat worries that the water in the Smiling Pool is too low to allow him to work underwater during the winter. 

December 14 to December 23. Whitefoot and Mrs. Whitefoot the Wood Mouse move into an old hornet's nest and avoid Shadow the Weasel. (Reprinted in The Crooked Little Path)

December 25. "Peter's Christmas Wishes." [I have not yet found this story. Many newspapers did not have Christmas editions.]

December 26 to December 31. Lightfoot's antlers fall off, giving other animals something to gnaw on. 


According to a 1939 profile in Editor and Publisher, Thornton Burgess was supposed to retire in 1944. He would turn 70 years old and in January would publish his 10,000th story. Obviously he didn't retire, though it is unclear why he didn't. The fact that he had reached 10,000 was celebrated by a profile in Life.

Overall 1944 was a return to form (new scenarios--baby herons; new characters--Silversides the Salmon) after an uninspired 1943, though Farmer Brown's boy's role remained relatively peripheral. War language still came up once in a while, as did welfare, though Burgess qualified his criticism--it was OK for folks who needed it (birds in winter) but not for folks who didn't (squirrels at risk for becoming dependent on it). Recognizing the advanced age of his characters, Burgess suggested that Jerry Muskrat was getting a bit gray.

On the Green Meadows was published in 1944, the first of a new round of Burgess books in the 1940s.  Readers might be surprised to discover that it is primarily focused on insect and arachnid life. I wonder if Burgess had originally been thinking of doing a "insects you should know" type book (this would also account for his wasp/katydid stories in 1944).

The "Million Little Sunbeams/Shadows" were old Burgess titles, published in John Martin's Book in 1914, but I do not know if these were the same stories.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1943

The Stories

January 1 to January 6. Blacky the Crow visits a barnyard to eat chicken feed and pig slop. 

January 7 to January 13. Sammy Jay steals from Chatterer the Red Squirrel's storehouse, but Blacky the Crow steals from him.

January 14 to January 21. Reddy Fox and Hooty the Owl take meadow mice who emerge from the snow.

January 22 to January 29. Peter Rabbit is surprised to find Welcome Robin during the winter.

January 30. Farmer Brown's boy shows his mother a letter from a reader of Nature Stories recounting how they removed a jar from a skunk's head.

February 1 to February 4.  Strayfoot the young fox learns the hard way to heed Jimmy Skunk's warning.

February 5 to February 18. Gray fox is trapped between two porcupines after he his chased by hunters for slaughtering chickens. Meanwhile Reddy Fox uses his wits to get a chicken and monitor hunters.

February 19 to February 25. Farmer Brown's boy's bird feeder is a "good investment," attracting birds who will control insects in the Old Orchard.

February 26 to March 5. Farmer Brown's boy rescues a grouse from under the ice crust. 

March 6 to March 17. Peter Rabbit finds signs of spring. (Reprinted in The Crooked Little Path).

March 18 to March 27. Teeny Weeny the Shrew threatens Whitefoot the Wood Mouse. Short-tail the shrew chases a meadow mouse.

March 29 to April 10. Buster Bear, newly awake, enters the cookhouse of a lumber camp and helps himself to cookies and molasses.

April 12 to April 18. Peter Rabbit, Jimmy Skunk, and Johnny Chuck commiserate about being kicked out of their homes during child-rearing days. Reddy Fox (unfairly) criticizes them for being poor fathers. 

April 19 to May 8. While the male grouses display, the foxes watch. Later the grouses use decoy behavior to protect their eggs and chicks from predators. (Partially reprinted in The Crooked Little Path).

May 10 to May 15. Farmer Brown's boy ejects house sparrows from the bluebird box and Flip chases Black Pussy away.

May 17 to June 8. The grackles nest with the ospreys, who drive off hawks and a boy egg collector. Later King Eagle demands tribute and the young ospreys learn to fish.

June 9 to June 12. Carol and Mrs. Carol the Meadowlark work together to conceal her nest. (Reprinted in On the Green Meadows).

June 14 to June 19. Goldie the Baltimore Oriole and Weaver the Orchard Oriole disagree about nest location and nest design.

June 21 to July 9. Bob White is angry when Peter Rabbit inadvertently leads a dog to his nest. Later young bobwhites learn to survive (three don't make it, one "through no fault of its own").  

July 10 to July 12. There is an air raid (Darter the Cooper's Hawk) on the Green Meadows. Carol the Meadow Lark gives the alarm and all the animals hide. Later Old Mr. Toad scolds Peter Rabbit for wasting food in Farmer Brown's boy's Victory Garden.

July 13 to July 15. The days of Old Mr. Toad, Johnny Chuck, and Jimmy Skunk are very different. 

July 16 to July 24. Rattles the Kingfisher raises a family.

July 26 to August 4. The duckling convoy sustains an underwater attack. Later Jimmy Skunk and Mrs. Snapper foolishly exchange threats and then Jimmy and Bobby Coon compete to find her eggs. 

August 5 to August 18. Six young muskrats must learn to distinguish friends from foes. Three don't learn quickly enough. 

August 19 to August 25. Billy Mink fights with Longlegs the Heron over a foolish young frog. 

August 26 to September 4. Peter Rabbit surveys the "blessings" of different animals.

September 6 to September 18. Peter Rabbit learns about pie-billed grebes. (Partially reprinted in At the Smiling Pool).

September 20 to October 14. The love and adventures of Wee Mouse in the berry patch. Later Little Miss Snowfoot hides their babies.

October 15 to November 5. Life at the Smiling Pool is disturbed while the Slaptails engineer a new beaver pond upstream. 

November 6 to November 8. Peter Rabbit thanks Johnny Chuck for building shelters that other animals can use.

November 9 to November 20. Danny and Nanny Meadow Mouse move into a strawstack for the winter. Black Pussy and Short-ear the Owl threaten the "popular resort."

November 22 to November 27. Butcher the Shrike and Kestrel the Sparrow Hawk have their eyes on birds at Farmer Brown's boy's feeders. 

November 29 to December 6. Bobby Coon outwits hunters and their dogs.

December 7 to December 11. Peter Rabbit chats about winter with Mourning Cloak the Butterfly and Wooly Bear the Caterpillar. 

December 13 to December 24. "Three-legs" the Raccoon and "Three-legs" the Skunk exchange stories about how they lost their legs to steel traps. Then Reddy Fox springs traps but can't prevent a "headstrong" young fox from being caught in the crafty trapper's "booby trap."

December 25. "The Day of Promise" [I've not yet been able to find this one yet. Many papers didn't print Christmas editions.]

December 27 to December 31. Peter Rabbit and Mrs. Peter Rabbit are dismayed when a whole family of skunks moves into an old woodchuck hole in the Old Briar Patch.


Generally speaking, Burgess stories in 1943 were rather familiar, with Burgess repeating many story-lines, scenarios, and images from previous years (e.g, grackles in the osprey nest, mortality among slow-learning young muskrats, Smiling Pool levels falling because of beaver dam). He continued to use war imagery but not nearly at the level of 1942's stories. Many images (duckling convoy vs. snapping turtle U-boat, hawk air-raid) were repeated. One new reference compared a trapper to a military engineer laying down mines and booby-traps.

The major difference in 1943 was the dramatic reduction in Burgess's use of Farmer Brown's boy. While he still made appearances to carry out his familiar functions (feed the birds, save the grouse from the ice crust, manage the bird houses) he was absent for months at a time.

For the first and only time, Burgess printed a letter from a reader as part of a story (Jan 30). (Burgess's "personal letters" in the early days of Little Stories for Bedtime and the Radio Nature League had allowed him to make use of the many letters he would receive on a daily basis, but those outlets were now gone.) The letter, from a reader who had used Burgess's advice in freeing a skunk's head from a jar, was rather clumsily integrated (addressed to Farmer Brown's boy yet referencing Burgess's Nature Stories). Burgess ended (further conflating himself and Tommy Brown):
We hear much these days about people being misunderstood. No people in all the Great World are so widely misunderstood as the little people of the Green Forest and the Green Meadows. No wonder Farmer Brown's boy rejoiced and still rejoices in that letter. I do myself.
Burgess apparently received many letters addressed directly to "Farmer Brown's boy," so this was perhaps an opportunity to play with that fact.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1942

The Stories

January 1 to January 5. Whitey the Owl learns the hard way that he should avoid Jimmy Skunk.

January 6 to January 10. After a storm (Brother West Wind's "Blitzkrieg") the animals each have a different way of staying alive.

January 12 to January 17. Spooky the Owl kills mice that believe themselves "smart".

January 19 to January 31. Timmy the Flying Squirrel moves into the Sugar House after being pursued by Shadow the Weasel.  Timmy watches Reddy Fox and Yowler the Bobcat quarrel over Jumper the Hare.

February 2 to February 4. Johnny Chuck sees his shadow but Farmer Brown's boy is skeptical that it means anything.

February 5 to February 7. Jimmy Skunk talks to Reddy Fox about the difference between fearing someone and respecting someone.

February 9 to February 16. Farmer Brown's boy rescues a dovkie blown by a storm into the Old Briar Patch. 

February 17 to February 19. Starnose the Mole must work or starve.

February 20 to February 25. Farmer Brown and his boy enjoy Whiskey Jack the Canada Jay's boldness.

February 26 to March 11. The great horned owls are nesting. Farmer Brown's boy climbs their tree to see the owlets (and must dodge the parents). Later, when Hooty is trapped by a neighboring farmer, Farmer Brown's boy trades a chicken in exchange for his freedom.

March 12 to March 27. Introducing a new enduring character, Little Spot the Spotted Skunk. [The Spotted Skunk is not a native Massachusetts species]. Little Spot does a handstand to spray a fox and climbs a tree. Later he kills rats (the "Nazis among the furred and feathered folk") in a neighbor's barn but Farmer Brown's boy must convince the farmer that the skunk is a rat-killer, not a chicken-killer. 

March 28 to April 7. Peter Rabbit searches for and finds signs of spring, especially the song of Peeper the Hyla. (Partially reprinted in At the Smiling Pool).

April 8 to April 14. Flickers, starlings, house sparrows, and even a screech owl, compete for a nesting hole in a telephone pole. 

April 15 to April 25. Old Mr. Toad and Yellow Wing the Flicker enjoy ants with very different tongues. Then Old Mr. Toad falls into a compost pit, luckily as it turns out.

April 27 to May 6. Scrapper the Kingbird talks about some Central American animals. "What is needed most of anything these days is for the folks down that way to really know the folks up this way and the folks up this way to really know the folks down there. That is what is needed most right now."

May 7 to May 16. The wrens build a nest in Farmer Brown's boy's fishing basket.

May 18 to May 23. Farmer Brown's boy releases feathers for nesting tree swallows. Skimmer the Tree Swallow helps Cresty the Great-crested Flycatcher find a snake skin.

May 25 to May 30. The birds of the Old Orchard join together to fight off the threat of egg-stealer, Chatterer the Red Squirrel.

June 1 to June 6. Scrapper the Kingbird proves himself to be a great leader as he gathers a mob to chase off egg-stealer, Blacky the Crow. But Farmer Brown's boy must defend him from a farmer who accuses him of eating honey bees.

June 8 to June 18. Johnny Chuck is wounded by a hunter shooting at groundhogs for sport. Farmer Brown's boy tries to convince the hunter that groundhogs, crows and hawks should not be classified as vermin. It is a Nazi practice to judge the group by the actions of a few individuals. It is meadow mice who are the real Green Meadow "Fifth Columnists." Then Farmer Brown's boy salutes a passing bald eagle and compares a hummingbird dive-bombing the eagle to a fighter pilot after a big bomber. (Partially reprinted in On the Green Meadows)

June 26 to July 4. Happy Jack scolds Peter Rabbit for eating bark from young trees. Trees are an investment, just like Defense Savings Stamps. Farmer Brown's boy announces the formation of "Happy Jack's Victory Club."

July 6 to July 18. Whitefoot the Wood Mouse makes his bed in a can. When Mother Bear is frustrated by the can she knocks it up in a tree. 

July 20 to July 25. Farmer Brown's boy mounts a keg in a tree for the wood ducks to use as a nesting box.

July 27 to August 8. Farmer Brown's boy must convince a hunter not to shoot Chatterer the Red Squirrel as an egg-robbing pest. Then when a larger (ugly) rival red squirrel begins to dominate Chatterer's territory (creating a "new order") Chatterer finds a fatal solution.

August 10 to August 17. The "Smiling Pool Convoy" (mother duck and ducklings) is threatened by the "Smiling Pool Submarine" (snapping turtle) and the "Air Raider" (peregrine falcon). Farmer Brown's boy is impressed by the convoy's clever defensive maneuvers.

August 18 to August 19. Grandfather Frog's dignity is upset when Prickly Porky eats his lily pad right out from under him. (Reprinted in At the Smiling Pool). 

August 20 to August 22. Two dogs intent on a killing spree are stopped by Prickly Porky. Then Jimmy Skunk puts an end to a dog's hunt for Bobby Coon.  Jimmy's stripes form a "V for Victory."

August 24 to September 14. Mother Coon has quintuplets to care for. She takes them to visit Aunt Sally, teaches them to fish, and protects them from a dog. They learn about toads and tree frogs.

September 15 to September 18. Peter Rabbit thinks Stickytoes the Tree Frog can make it rain. Stickytoes disagrees.

September 19 to September 26. Old Mr. Toad protects the garden. [Even Hitler knows that toads should be protected] Meanwhile Peter Rabbit is a saboteur (and then a prisoner of war). 

September 28 to October 1. The animals are bothered by the loud sounds of fighter planes practicing over the Green Meadow. 

October 2 to October 5. Johnny Chuck wants to know whether crickets fiddle or chirp.

October 6 to October 10. Peter Rabbit wants to know if hummingbirds really ride on the back of larger birds for migration.

October 12 to October 17. Buster Bear loses face when he flees from Flathorns the Moose, but recovers it when he chases away Puma the Cougar. (Reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond).

October 19 to November 12. Paddy the Beaver digs a canal to avoid leaving the water and exposing himself to predators. When a flash flood bursts the beaver dam, Paddy suddenly finds himself vulnerable. Farmer Brown's boy cuts some trees for the beavers to use repairing their dam. Old Man Coyote gives up trying to break into the lodge after the frost comes. (Partially reprinted in At Paddy the Beaver's Pond).

November 13 to November 25. The foxes eagerly welcome hunting season so they can feed on wounded game. Meanwhile the game birds are worried. Reddy Fox is tempted to go for newly fattened Johnny Chuck but he changes his mind--he's not hungry. (Partially reprinted in On the Green Meadows).

November 26 to December 15. Peter Rabbit learns about spider webs from Madame Orb. Then he visits with Cousin Lycosa the Wolf Spider. (Reprinted in On the Green Meadows). 

December 16 to December 19. Buster Bear decides it's time for bed.

December 21 to December 24. Reddy Fox teases Prickly Porky by reminding him about Pekan the Fisher. 

December 26 to December 31. Desperate with hunger, Reddy Fox and Blacky Crow try to get a dead fish in the middle of the Smiling Pool. 


While Thornton Burgess had been incorporating war references into his stories since the late 1930s, after the United States actually entered the war the references were pretty much non-stop. Indeed, what is impressive about 1942 in particular is the sheer variety of ways Burgess worked the war into his stories. A storm was a "blitzkrieg," ducklings were a "convoy" threatened by a snapping turtle "submarine," a bullying red squirrel created a "new order" in the Green Forest, and a hummingbird after a bald eagle was a "fighter plane" dive-bombing a "bomber."Burgess, using arguments developed by the Food Administration during the first world war, identified food supply as a key factor in the current war, and so meadow mice were "fifth columnists," Peter Rabbit became a saboteur (and then a "prisoner of war"), and Old Mr. Toad was a war hero (endorsed by Hitler?). Jimmy Skunk's stripes formed a "V for Victory." Even the "Good Neighborhood Policy" was promoted via a set of stories about Latin American animals.

The war itself entered the world of Burgess stories through the (disturbing) activity of fighter plane practice over the Green Meadows. And as he had done for during World War I, Burgess established a club, "Happy Jack's Victory Club," through a series of stories explicitly written to persuade readers to invest in Defense stamps and bonds. Unlike the WWI-era "Happy Jack's Thrift Club" there is no evidence that the new club was particularly effective. While Burgess's stories were still popular they did not have nearly the central cultural position they had held 25 years earlier.

The war also allowed Burgess to speak with renewed aggressiveness against the practice of recreational hunting. Here's the opening rhyme for June 8, 1942:
Today's world horror was begun
When man began to kill for fun
--Old Mother Nature
[Burgess revised this for On the Green Meadows. The new version, less tied to the WWII era, went:
When man began to kill for fun
Was frightfulness of war begun
--Old Mother Nature]
To some degree this is old Victorian era wisdom, but it allowed Burgess to tie the despicable activity of hunting to something even more horrible, both rooted in a lack of empathy between humans and their fellow beings on earth. And Burgess's indirect comparisons of hunters with Nazis in previous years became explicit in 1942. It wasn't just beaver colonies that represented "democracy" it was nature generally speaking. Here is a passage from February 27:
There is no dictator in the Green Forest. There is no dictator on the Green Meadows. There is no dictator in the Old Pasture. Old Mother Nature has no place for dictators. She rules, but her rule is not a dictatorship. She is the head of a vast and perfect democracy. Her way is the democratic way. Go where you will you will find it so...Of her countless children man alone ever attempts to be a dictator, and when he does he fails miserably, upsetting the fine balance of life, resulting in disaster, often chaos.
Hunters, particularly hunters who persecuted whole species of animals as vermin, were no better than Nazis. 

Finally it is worth noting that the only animals Burgess excepted from the animals-as-democracy rule were rats. 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Burgess Bedtime Stories 1941

The Stories

January 1 to January 11. Peter Rabbit has enough excitement (goshawk, fox)  in the Green Forest and returns to the Old Briar patch.

January 13 to January 15. Lightfoot the Deer fights off Yowler the Bobcat.

January 16 to January 18. Peter Rabbit and Danny Meadow Mouse disagree about the desirability of snow.

January 20 to January 23. Reddy and Mrs. Reddy plan a daring raid on a hen house and elude a vengeful farmer and his dog. 

January 24 to February 12. Jumper the Hare and Whitefoot the Wood Mouse scare each other.  Then Jumper is trapped but escapes when Whitey the Owl and Gray Fox fight. Meanwhile Reddy and Mrs. Reddy are no match for Jumper's snowshoes. Later Blacky the Crow benefits when Reddy digs in the snow for mice.

February 13 to February 17. Farmer Brown's boy shows Farmer Smith that Reddy Fox has been eating harmful mice, not stealing his chickens. 

February 18 to February 26. Butcher the Shrike is back and kills a cedar waxwing. Dotty the Tree Sparrow, despite being chased, doesn't think he is all bad.

February 27 to March 1. Sammy Jay watches a respectful encounter between Reddy Fox and Jimmy Skunk.

March 3 to March 8. Yank Yank the Nuthatch dodges Sharpshin the Hawk.

March 10 to March 24. Jimmy Skunk rescues Johnny Chuck, who has been treed by Flip. Farmer Brown's boy uses a new method of reducing skunk spray smell.

March 25 to April 4. Johnny Chuck searches for Polly and gets chased by a very hungry Buster Bear. Polly kicks him out (it's child-rearing time again) and Johnny decides to live in the Green Forest.

April 5 to May 2. The woodchucks and the opossums compare notes about child-rearing. Mrs. Jumper joins the conversation. 

May 3 to May 21. Johnny Chuck learns about Ol' Mistah Buzzard and Chatterer the Red Squirrel is foolishly tempted by Mrs. Buzzard's eggs.

May 22 to May 31. The birds of the Old Orchard regard Boomer the Nighthawk as a show-off and criticize Mrs. Boomer for being a lazy nest builder. The nighthawks, the chimney swifts and the bats represent an anti-insect "Air Patrol."

June 2 to June 7. Mrs. Peter Rabbit fights off a blacksnake. 

June 9 to June 11. Mrs. Welcome Robin tries to use strips of fabric provided by Mother Brown but they really don't work. 

June 12 to June 16. Peter Rabbit tries to fish like Bobby Coon but gets pinched by a crawfish.

June 17 to June 28. On his home from the Smiling Pool, Old Mr. Toad gets rolled by Jimmy Skunk (who is planning to eat him until he gets chased off by an owl) and harassed by a little snake. Farmer Brown's boy helps him return to the garden.

July 1 to July 12. Peter Rabbit helps Queen Bumble find a place to nest and learns about bumblebee nurseries. He hides the location of the nest from Jimmy Skunk. (Reprinted in On the Green Meadows).

July 14 to July 16. Jimmy Skunk, Unc' Billy Possum and Bobby Coon are looking for snapping turtle eggs. Peter Rabbit accidentally shields them. 

July 17 to August 2. Reddy Fox's son, Snoopy, watches a young chuck get caught in a steel trap and leave some toes behind. Reddy teaches him how to spring traps. Later Farmer Brown's boy helps the young trapper after the trapper's dog is caught in and badly injured by one of his traps.

August 4 to August 13. Farmer Brown's boy and his mother watch a mother squirrel teaching her children how to get food from feeding shelf. It turns out she is dying and wants her children to know how to fend for themselves. Later two of the three orphans are killed in "air raids" (hawks). 

August 14 to August 25. Peter Rabbit learns about hummingbirds.

August 26 to September 6. A pair of dogs (compared by Burgess to Nazis) conspires to hunt deer. The twins survive (thanks to Farmer Brown's boy) and learn to detect possible predators through their scents.

September 8 to September 13. Old Mr. Toad and Hummer the Hummingbird hang out in Farmer Brown's garden.

September 15 to October 8. A huge storm causes an out-of-season flood. Many animals, including Bobby Coon, Danny and Nanny Meadow Mouse, and Chatterer the Red Squirrel end up stranded on rafts in the water. Later Jerry and Mrs. Jerry Muskrat must build a new home.

October 9 to October 18. Peter Rabbit believes that certain signs indicate a hard winter is approaching. Tommy Tit is dubious.

October 20 to October 31. It is hunting season and while Peter Rabbit does his best to help a wounded woodcock, Reddy Fox waits with anticipation for a feast of wounded grouse. Farmer Brown's boy argues with a hunter about the cause of low grouse numbers. Later hunters use bait to make a drake mallard comfortable then kill him. And Danny Meadow Mouse likes hunting season because foxes and hawks are well-fed. 

November 1. Johnny Chuck decides it's time to hibernate.

November 3 to November 12. Mrs. Quack helps Mr. Quack after he is wounded by a hunter.

November 13 to November 20. Sammy Jay and the squirrels compete over a particularly fat nut. Blacky the Crow finds it, buries it, and forgets about it.

November 21 to December 3. Buster Bear finds a honey tree, as does Tommy Brown and his cousin Sammy. Familiar comic consequences ensue. Later Buster is tempted by a farmer's pigs but decides to go to sleep instead. 

December 4 to December 9. Animals prepare for winter.

December 10 to December 20. A fawn is orphaned when dogs kill her sister and mother. Farmer Brown's boy adopts her and names her "Tippy." When hunting season approaches, a game warden warns him that it is illegal to shelter deer (he plans to do it anyway). When his plan is discovered Farmer Brown's boy writes a letter to the Commissioner of Conservation requesting an exception to the law.

December 22 to December 25. Spooky the Screech Owl gets caught in the Brown's stove. He spends Christmas with the Browns. 

December 26 to December 31. Reddy Fox and Whitey the Owl compete for prey. 


1941 was another war year, with Burgess continuing to draw parallels between the animal world and the world of war. Hawk attacks were now "air raids" (pitilessly taking two already orphaned squirrels), while nighthawks and swifts provided anti-insect "air patrols." (Burgess had used similar language during his WWI Green Meadow Club Bird Sanctuaries campaign.) When a pair of dogs decided to go deer hunting, Burgess compared them to the "human monsters who started the terrible World War of today."

Farmer Brown's boy continued his advocacy work, again confronting farmers, hunters, and trappers and trying to convince them to change their ways of seeing the natural world. Farmer Brown's boy's biggest challenge, however, would be the government. Knowing that "Tippy," the orphaned deer he had raised, was unafraid of humans (and thus an easy target) he planned to shelter him during hunting season. When the local game warden showed up and reminded him that this was against the law, he protested that it was a "bad law" (and planned to disobey it) but was finally convinced to write a letter to the State Commission of Conservation petitioning for an exemption. Remarkably, on December 17, Burgess provided the text of the entire letter.

Dear Mr. Commissioner:
Please give me a permit to save Tippy's life. Tippy is a little Deer who comes from the woods to our dooryard every day and isn't afraid of anybody. He eats from our hands. He follows me into the barn. He has even walked into the house. He came to us when he was so little that he had to be fed milk. He has lost his mother. He has been coming ever since. He is like one of the family, as much so as my Dog or Cat. 
The open season on Deer begins pretty soon. If Tippy goes off our place he will go right to the first hunter he sees. You know what will happen. It will be butchery, not sport. Even if he were not tame he isn't big enough to kill. He isn't but a few months old. He is almost a baby. Let him live another year and he will be more than twice as big. Please, Mr. Commissioner, let me shut him in the barn until the hunting season is over. I promise to let him go the very next day. Please.
Tommy Brown.

After some suspenseful waiting the permit was finally granted. Thus Burgess directly modeled the kind of civic behavior that he himself had used so successfully in getting protections for the likes of the Bald Eagle and game birds.

Finally it is worth noting that in 1941 Burgess defended Butcher the Shrike, who could have so easily remained a stock villain, offering praise for his independence and his thrift (!)