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BOXING VS. BRIDGE
England's Medical World, a staid monthly journal for the general practitioner, has this to say about boxing in its current issue:
"Some of our brethren have been concerned lately about the dangers of boxing. They have been able to produce nine deaths in amateur boxing in this country in 14 years—about the same number that are killed in three days' motor biking. Smoking cigarettes, which boxers in training eschew, causes about 40 deaths a day. Bridge, because of its tendency to encourage prolonged smoking and its deadly immobility, is probably the most dangerous game played in England now."
NO SALE ON SABLE
Sable Island, scene of 400-odd shipwrecks, is a miserable hangnail of sand, 25 miles long, less than a mile wide, lying 180 miles southeast of Halifax, N.S. Its vegetation is practically nil (sprigs of saline bent grass, isolated clumps of whortle and cranberry bushes). Its inhabitants (not counting lighthouse keepers or the ghosts of pirates and beautiful women who, properly, meander along the beaches in the teeth of howling gales) are 300 altogether ornery wild horses.
The horses are descendants of the survivors of a 17th-century wreck (the story goes) and, like San Francisco's cable cars, have been sentimental, unprofitable fixtures on the island for years. Tough, long-coated and stunted, they have grubbed out an existence by sheer pluck and have stubbornly resisted all human interference. Civilized stallions flown to the island in a breeding experiment, for instance, were kicked silly by the locals; an attempt to carry a schooner load of Sable's horses to the mainland ended in a disaster of broken legs; hay bales, dropped by the RCAF in winter, have been scattered to the wind by the proud and defiant young males.
But lately other straws were in the wind—these to the effect that the horses had to go. Not only were they intractable, said governmental busy-bodies, but they cropped off the island's grass cover, the sand blew away and the lighthouse and other vital installations were undermined. Three times the buildings had had to be moved, and that was enough. The horses were now for sale to the highest bidder. Nobody had to say that the highest bidder was likely to own the glue and dog food works.
As could be expected, animal lovers all over Nova Scotia rose in an inflamed body, decried inhumanity and insisted the horses be left alone. Far from despoiling the meager grass, they helped it to grow with their manure, said the partisans, and if inbreeding was a problem, well that was the horses' business. Nature would provide.
Whether nature would provide or not was reduced to academic discussion last week. Canadian Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, acting on the entreaties of his constituents, provided instead. The sale of Sable Island's shaggy, storied horses, he said, was off.