NANFA-- I'd always heard marine mammals were smart...

Jay DeLong (
Sun, 01 Apr 2001 21:24:02 -0700

This is an article which appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
newspaper in the 1920's:

Puget Sound Mermaids Go on Wild Spree
(Dugongs, Old Time Residents of Seattle Waters, Get Too Much of the
Jettisoned Rum)

Prohibition may or may not be a benefit to the human race, but it is surely
playing havoc with the morals and lifelong habits of the Puget Sound
mermaid, commonly known as the dugong, according to Ezra P. Smith,
fisherman and big game hunter from Duckabush.

Tales of shocking debauchery from the hitherto inoffensive mammals are told
by the Duckabush man. Sacks of Canadian liquor dropped over the side of
rum-running ships at the approach of revenue cutters are proving the
undoing of the dugong, and the liquor habit may entirely destroy the
strange species, says Smith. The pretty bottles with their intriguing
labels aroused the feminine curiousity of the sea maidens and they
contrived to break off the necks. With no one to warn them of the evils of
strong drink, they became ready addicts.

Jay DeLong
Olympia, WA

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