National Geographic : 1945 Mar
She's at home on a raft THE PIED-BILLED grebe, Podilymbus podi ceps podiceps, has a preference for quiet shallows in fresh-water lakes and ponds. Best-known of the American grebes, her nickname, "water witch," is well chosen. She is an expert swimmer and can lower her body in the water to any degree, both while swim ming and remaining still. Often when danger is near, she sinks until only her bill and eyes show above the surface. Safe in this position, she can remain until the baffled hunter or hawk goes on his way. But the most remarkable thing about the grebe is her choice of a home. For, unlike most water birds that build their nests in the sand or rocks on shore, she builds on the water. From buoyant stems of water plants she makes a small, floating platform with a slight depression in the middle for her eggs. This raft is generally attached to living reeds so it can float up and down but not move away. When the grebe leaves her nest, she covers up the eggs, and her home is safely disguised as a small mass of floating green. Thus the pied-billed grebe's home is well adapted both to her convenience and her ability to protect it. With wild creatures protection is instinctive. But man must protect himself deliberately. Yet he can protect himself more effectively than any wild thing. For after he has taken every precaution he can to safeguard his home and possessions, he can do one thing more. He can protect himself, through insurance, from the financial losses following mishaps which may occur, despite the most careful precautions. If a fire or windstorm destroys your property, fire or windstorm insurance helps you rebuild. If burglars break into your house, theft insur ance pays for your loss and damage. Since there is no way of foretelling such mis haps, and since the losses involved can be ex tremely heavy, no man with the responsibility of a home can afford to be without protection. Your local Travelers man will help you solve your problem. MORAL: Insure in The Travelers. All forms of insurance and surety bonds. The Travelers Insurance Company, The Travelers Indemnity Company, The Travelers Fire Insurance Com pany, Hartford, Connecticut.