National Geographic : 1913 Jun
A PIGEON AND ITS WHISTLE: CHINA These whistles, very light, weighing a few grams, are attached to the tails of young pigeons soon after their birth by means of fine copper wire, so that when the birds fly the wind blowing through the whistles sets them vibrating, and this produces an open-air con cert, for the instruments in the same flock are all different (see page 715). as those of yesterday. And here we have the secret of youth in age which every venerable naturalist I have ever met has convincingly illustrated. I could name nearly a dozen, living and dead, whom it has been my valued privilege to know. All had passed the allotted three-score and ten, and some were over four-score. The friends and associates of their ear lier days had passed away, and one might imagine that they had no interest in life and were simply waiting for the end. But these veterans were old in years only. Their hearts were young. The earth was fair; plants still bloomed and birds sang for them. There was no idle waiting here; the days were all too short. With what boyish ardor they told of some recent discovery; what inspiration there was in their enthusiasm! So I say to you, if you would reap the purest pleasures of youth, manhood, and old age, go to the birds and through them be brought within the ennobling influences of Nature.