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128   IN THE ACADIAN LAND.

mess, and much perseverance. Still it is quite desirable that knowledge increase in this direction. It is not realized that for the most part birds are so useful that we could not hold our own against insects without them. We would surely be driven out of the land by caterpillars, grubs and bugs, and beetles and flies, if our feathered allies did not destroy them by millions every day, even within the area of one small county. Long ages before mankind appeared on this earth birds were here. Their fossil re-mains imbedded in the ancient rocks proves this statement beyond question. It is then very evident that they can live without us, but without them human existence could only be maintained within narrow limits. No grains could be grown, no trees could live. The insect-eating birds are to mankind what the embankments that keep back the ocean are to Holland. If the wall was removed or broken down the whole country would be overwhelmed with water. Insects destructive to vegetable and animal life exist in countless species, and their ability to multiply their numbers even in one year is some-thing incredible. They are held in check by birds. There are other agencies that help in this direction, but they would prove unequal


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