Not Complimentary to Utah” is a libel on a beautiful state—but a very funny joke. By this time, The Youth’s Companion emphasized secular amusement over religious instruction.


http://www.merrycoz.org/yc/CURLEW.xhtml
“Not Complimentary to Utah” (from The Youth’s Companion, October 28, 1869; p. 344)

All strangers are not pleased with Utah, if one may judge from the sharp talk of a guest at one of their public houses:

The Salt Lake (Utah) Vidette says: A wayfarer dropped into the Occidental Hotel in this place, on Tuesday, to get a square meal. Having planted himself in a chair at one end of the table, he was confronted by the waiter with,—

“What’ll you have?”

The hungry man fastened his eyes on the attache le soup, and said,

“What have you that’s good?”

“O, we’ve roast beef, corned beef, roast mutton, boiled mutton, fried ham and boiled curlew.”

“What is curlew?” asked the stranger.

“Curlew! Why, curlew is a bird something like a snipe.”

“Did it fly?”

“Yes.”

“Did it have wings?”

“Yes.”

“Then I don’t want any curlew; any thing that had wings, and could fly, and didn’t leave this country, I don’t want for dinner.”

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