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AN "AMERICAN" SPRINGER SPANIEL?
While many wealthy field trial enthusiasts own large kennels with expensive, imported dogs and professional handlers, a young dog with good breeding is within the reach of most anyone, requiring mainly the time taken to train him yourself. A little effort and a homemade pigeon trap planted at some stock or feed yard (where the proprietors are usually more than anxious to rid themselves of pigeons) will usually supply all the birds you need for training. Add to this a few enthusiastic scatter-gun friends to act as guns for you and you're in business.
Far be it for me to argue with Henry Davis, author of your field trial article and certainly one of the best-known and most respected spaniel men in the country, but I would like to point out that the imported English dogs have no monopoly on winning trials. The only reason they have been so successful is that the American breeders haven't had sufficient time or strength in numbers to really get started. However, even in the few short years these fine dogs have been worked in field trials in this country, the American-bred dogs have done remarkably well and developed many a fine champion. Given time and encouragement by articles such as yours, I can assure you the Englishmen will have a run for their money—as though they don't already.
Because springer spaniels are used in England to hunt rabbits as well as birds, the English dog has been bred down in size for close cover so that most imports do not completely conform to the breed. In the United States, where the springer is best for pheasants, we want a bigger, huskier dog with greater lung capacity and the stamina to go all day long. Most important, we want a taller dog who, when "hupped" at flush, can see above our usually high cover and "mark" the fall of the bird. Perhaps someday a larger, harder driving breed will be standardized and known as the "American" springer spaniel.
THE KIBITZER (CONT.)
This lady obviously has been grossly misinformed. The word kibitzer does not come from Yiddish but from the German language.
It seems that there is a bird which inhabits the northern coast of Germany, called the Kiebitz, which lays its eggs in other birds' nests and stands aside and watches the other birds hatch its eggs. In other words, this bird is a watcher, which is just what a kibitzer is.
About a kibitzer being a schlemiel, this is also a wrong statement because a schlemiel is a stupid or clumsy fellow and not always a pest, and there are many nice schlemiels.
?Although references to the Kiebitz's alleged cuckoo habits can be found in many an old volume on birds, it must have been a schlemiel who first claimed he actually saw one lay its eggs in another bird's nest. Actually, according to modern ornithologists, the Kiebitz (Vanellus vanellus), or lapwing, is a member of the plover family which builds its own nest on arable ground, hatches its own eggs and generally minds its own business. It is also known as the Kievit, pewit and peewee, all because of its unique, scolding two-note song.—ED.