Animals: Fire Horse

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Last week died Thelma, 37, for 27 years private fire horse of Archie Goodwin, private fireman of Auburn, N. Y.

A sleek, black pony, Thelma was too small to be a real fire horse. So was her master. He was rejected by Auburn's fire department because he stood only 5 ft. 2 in. He turned his barn into a miniature fire station, installed a gong which registered all city alarms, bought a small buggy which he painted red. Then he bought Thelma, trained her to run from her stall at the sound of the gong and stand between the shafts of the buggy. Above the shafts was suspended Thelma's harness, attached to an automatic device which Fireman Goodwin devised. Thirty-nine seconds after the gong sounded the harness dropped upon Thelma's back. Then

Fireman Goodwin hitched up, dashed to the fire. He never interfered with the official firemen, merely stood & watched. But eight years ago he stood too close, was so badly hurt that he had to stop going to fires. Last week when Thelma died Archie Goodwin, now 58, had an arm about her neck. Sobbed he: 'Tf Thelma was too old to live, so am I."

Again Potoroos

In 1843 Sir George Grey, then Governor of Australia, sent home three rare potoroos, or rat-kangaroos.* They died, and their skins & bones in the British Museum were all that civilization knew of the frisky little beast that once pranced merrily about the Australian underbrush. After 89 years the rat-kangaroo has returned. In the sandhill plains near the border of Queensland and South Australia H. H. Finlayson of Adelaide University found dozens of them. In Nature magazine (London) he reported that he had captured specimens in all stages of development. The passing of drought conditions in the semidesert region, said he, probably caused the nearly-extinct animal to become once more prolific.

The potoroo is about the size of a rabbit, resembles the kangaroo, but runs instead of leaping. He is herbivorous, nocturnal, shy. A newborn potoroo is about the size of a shelled peanut. Like the young opossum he lies in his mother's pouch, grabs a teat, hangs on for dear life for a month or more. In six months he is strong enough to get out and nibble grass. In the pouch he is lonely, for potoroos are seldom twins.

To the Lions!

When jovial J. Waddy ("Hot Dog") Tate was Mayor of Dallas, Tex., the 35 donkeys he put in the city's parks for children to ride kept contentedly braying. Last week the managerial government which supplanted Mayor Tate (TIME, Oct. 27, 1930) was prepared to sacrifice the donkeys on the altar of Economy. Ten of them have died; the park board, which supports an expensive zoo supplied by Animalcatcher Frank Buck (see p. 24), has no money to feed the rest. Lately Mrs. Ola M. Swain asked the board to lend her two donkeys for the summer. She has a 23-acre estate and a pony to keep the donkeys company. The board replied that it would sell them for $7.50 each. If no buyet is found the board said it would follow the recommendation of Zookeeper L. E. Blondin: feed the 25 donkeys to nine hungry lions in the zoo.

Hoppers into Locusts

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