May 20, 2010

The Golden Book of Wild Animal Pets

How to Find and Care for Animals of the Wood, Field, and Stream
by Roy Pinney

During several visits to a local thrift shop, I saw this old book sitting on the shelf. I was curious enough about it that I finally brought it home, even though it's tattered (the spine was falling off). This is a sort of children's manual for catching and keeping wild birds, insects and small mammals as pets. It tells how to find the animals in their own habitats, and methods used to catch them- pretty much anything from tadpoles and bats to rabbits and young hawks. Then describes how to make proper enclosures- I thought this was the coolest part. The book shows how to build a cage yourself, by wiring cake-cooling racks together; how to make an ant farm using two panes of glass, wood strips and tape, or how to set up a terrarium or make a jar a home for bugs (my daughter's own hobby!) It mentions several times the importance of giving proper care to any animals you keep- with particular instructions for the various species. Also explains clearly that some wild animals are never suitable to try and bring home- like bear cubs or poisonous snakes! - and emphasizes always checking to make sure it is legal in your state before trying to catch and keep most animals. I can't think a creature like a raccoon would make a good pet, and I never heard of anyone having a pet armadillo or prairie dog! but some of the animals described in the "exotics" section, like chinchillas, I've seen available in the pet store. There is also a part about putting up bird-feeders, or tempting deer close to the house with salt licks so you can observe them. The longest sections (a few pages each) describe snakes, frogs and turtles, and I particularly liked reading about flying squirrels. A very interesting little book! One I surely would have tried to put into practice as a kid.

Rating: 3/5 ........ 68 pages, 1959

8 comments:

Chandra said...

Wow! What a unique find!

bermudaonion said...

I wouldn't have wanted my son to have this one because he would have wanted to put it to practice too!

Alyce said...

I'm sure I would have loved this as a kid, but I'm with Kathy, I wouldn't want my son to have it or our house would be filled with animals and creepy crawlies.

Bybee said...

I love the pic with the boy who has a turtle crawling on his chest.

carolsnotebook said...

I can never, ever, ever let my daughter see this book.

Jeane said...

I'm in agreement with all of you. This is one I won't be reading to my daughter! As for the chances of kids stumbling across it, I'm pretty sure it's out of print, so that's not too likely.

Frank Indiviglio said...

It was my bible growing up...one of the influences that led me to a career in the Bronx Zoo, field research etc. I kept just about every creature described there (despite living in the Bronx!) and crossed paths with author, a native New Yorker, several times (he lived until a few days short of his 100th bday); I still have my orig copy, and just bought 1 for my 7 yr old nephew, who has already handled a huge assortment of wild animals. So nice to see it here, thanks.

Jeane said...

Mr. Indiviglio- that is very cool. Thanks for visiting my little blog.