I recently spoke with Ed Linenthal, the editor of the Journal of American History, about my article on “The Urbanization of the Eastern Gray Squirrel in the United States” for JAH’s podcast series. (mp3)
In order to fend off any suspicion that my interest in the urban squirrel has blinded me to the darker, less cuddly side of urban life — though perhaps at risk of raising other concerns — I share this photo acquired last weekend during a sunset walk in my new neighborhood, the Körnerkiez in Neukölln, Berlin.
For the moment, I offer the following literary treasure without much comment, except to say that it and its theme have been preoccupying me lately to what is probably an unhealthy extent.
“The Pensioner in Gray” was first published in the children’s magazine St. Nicholas in 1908 (Vol. 36, No. 1, Nov. 1908, p. 11) and later reprinted in Our Dumb Animals (Vol. 45, No. 9, Feb. 1913, p. 142), the magazine of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Dumb” here meaning voiceless, of course. Its author was Marian Longfellow, cousin of the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Continue reading