The health commissioner shifted nervously in the wicker chair. It was just before noon on a Saturday and he found himself seated at a table on Boss Crump’s porch. Crump hadn’t held office in the city for some years, but he still more or less ran the government. And when he summoned you, you came, no matter the time or day.
“I believe in a quiet city,” Came Crump’s gravely voice from behind him. “More than that, I believe in a city that sounds good. It keeps people happy, keeps them calm, keeps the crime down. Don’t you agree?”
“Yes, sir?” The commissioner hadn’t meant that to come out as a question, but he didn’t know where this was going.
“And what keeps a city sounding good? Songbirds. A darling little girl down the street, Lucy, raises them. Told me a stray cat got in, killed all of her birds. Says they’re doing that to all the song birds in the city. Chipping away at the population.”
The commissioner blinked at Crump, confused. “I’m sorry, but what does this have to do with me?”
“Good lad, you’re the health commissioner, I want you to catch the cats.
All of them.”
This actually happened. Crump got fed up with the stray cats in Memphis eating all the songbirds, so he organized a massive effort to round up all the strays in the city. All because he wanted the air to be filled with the sound of chirping birds.