Letters to the Editor

Letter: Throw birdseed

The beautiful time of brides and grooms is coming and I wish them all good things.

There’s a terrible tradition, from pagan times, intended to make the bride “fruitful.” It’s a wives’ tale now, but a deadly one. It’s about throwing raw rice over the couple leaving the church. The first problem (ask any paramedic) is people slip in their good shoes on the rice and tumble down the cement church stairs. The worst, however, is wild birds eat this rice and feed it to their young. As soon as they drink, the rice expands (as it’s suppose to), bursting their stomachs. I’m basing this on several necropsies done by myself and veterinarians years ago when I lived in Hawaii — and birds were already hurting from our traditions. I’ve been a “bird person” 42 years; and all us “birders” know they are disappearing exponentially. But there’s some ways we can save at least a couple of generations.

Instead of rice, try throwing wrapped confetti, or blowing individual wedding bubbles, both found in any party store. There’s also the tradition of flower petals (very European). But believe it or not, the best is birdseed. It feels and looks like rice and is self-cleaning by a grateful songbird population.

(Another hint for those who care for birds, don’t put red food coloring into your hummingbird nectar. Clear nectar is always the best.

I finish by paraphrasing a beautiful thought from the holy book itself; “whatsover you do for the least of my creatures, that you do unto Me.”

Sandra L. Zuckerman, Boise

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