Searching for solution to serious issue


Have you heard the story of the bird feeder? A friend sent this analogy to me and I thought Farm and Dairy readers might enjoy it. The writer is anonymous, or I would be glad to give credit where credit is due:
The birds. I bought a bird feeder. I hung it on my back porch and filled it with seed. Within a week we had hundreds of birds taking advantage of the continuous flow of free and easily-accessible food.
But then the birds started building nests in the boards of the patio, above the table and next to the barbecue. Then came the bird mess. It was everywhere – on the patio tile, the chairs, the table … everywhere.
Then some of the birds turned mean. They would dive bomb me and try to peck me, even though I had fed them out of my own pocket.
And other birds were boisterous and loud. They sat on the feeder and squawked and screamed at all hours of the day and night and demanded that I fill it when it got low on food.
After awhile, I couldn’t even sit on my own back porch anymore. I took down the bird feeder and in three days the birds were gone. I cleaned up their mess and took down the many nests they had built all over the patio.
Soon, the backyard was like it used to be. Quite, serene and no one demanding their rights to a free meal.
The people. Now let’s see. Our government gives out free food, subsidized housing, free medical care, free education and allows anyone born here to be a automatic citizen.
Then the illegal immigrants came by the tens of thousands. Suddenly our taxes went up to pay for free services, small apartments are housing five families, you have to wait six hours to be seen by an emergency room doctor, your child’s second grade class is behind other schools because over half the class doesn’t speak English.
Corn Flakes now come in a bilingual box, I have to press “one” to hear my bank talk to me in English, and people waving flags other than Old Glory are screaming in the streets, demanding more rights and free liberties.
Maybe it’s time for the government to take down the bird feeder and clean up the mess.
* * *
When my son Cort was finally diagnosed and treated in Hammonton, N.J., for Lyme disease, he and I spent more than a week there. We learned first-hand from the nurses that Hammonton was suffering from a population explosion from the many migrant workers who had come seeking work in blueberry patches.
They liked the area so much that they stayed. School population doubled in less than two years and new schools had to be built. Many extra teachers had to be hired who could teach English as a second language.
Streets were suddenly congested. Part-time jobs were impossible to find. A protest was held at the tiny library because it did not carry books in Spanish. Taxes went through the roof practically overnight.
Moved. The locals, many of whom lived in Hammonton because their ancestors had settled there, were selling and moving away. They saw no end in sight.
Cort and I stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts for breakfast one morning before going to the clinic for his day-long treatment. The people behind the counter did not speak English and we had to point to what we wanted in order to be understood.
It is a difficult subject in this country, there is no doubt about it. While life seems to continue getting more and more difficult for some, it seems our government has made it way too easy for others.
What is the answer? I’d love to hear from you, Farm and Dairy readers. I’ll share your collective wisdom in a future column, if you wish to share it with me.
(Comments can be sent in care of Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460 or via e-mail to


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Judith Sutherland, born and raised on an Ohio family dairy farm, now lives on a 70-acre farm not far from the area where her father’s family settled in the 1850s. Appreciating the tranquility of rural life, Sutherland enjoys sharing a view of her world through writing. Other interests include teaching, reading, training dogs and raising puppies. She and her husband have two children, a son and a daughter, and three grandchildren.