When this resolution was put to vote, not one said “Aye,” but all cried “Nay, nay,” and for the space of half an hour kept on neighing. Instead of this harsh measure, it was voted that, by the hand of Henry Bergh, president of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, I should write this letter of remonstrance.
My dear gentlemen and ladies, remember that we, like yourselves, have moods, and cannot always be frisky and cheerful. You do not slap your grandmother in the face because this morning she does not feel as well as usual; why, then do you slash us? Before you pound us, ask whether we have been up late the night before, or had our meals at irregular hours, or whether our spirits have been depressed by being kicked by a drunken hostler. We have only about ten or twelve years in which to enjoy ourselves, and then we go out to be shot into nothingness. Take care of us while you may. Job’s horse was “clothed with thunder,” but all we ask is a plain blanket. When we are sick, put us in a “horse-pital.” Do not strike us when we stumble or scare. Suppose you were in the harness and I were in the wagon, I had the whip and you the traces, what an ardent advocate you would be for kindness to the irrational creation! Do not let the blacksmith drive the nail into the quick when he shoes me, or burn my fetlocks with a hot file. Do not mistake the “dead-eye” that nature put on my foreleg for a wart to be exterminated. Do not cut off my tail short in fly-time. Keep the north wind out of our stables. Care for us at some other time than during the epizooetics, so that we may see your kindness is not selfish.
My dear friends, our interests are mutual. I am a silent partner in your business. Under my sound hoof is the diamond of national prosperity. Beyond my nostril the world’s progress may not go. With thrift, and wealth, and comfort, I daily race neck and neck. Be kind to me if you want me to be useful to you. And near be the day when the red horse of war shall be hocked and impotent, and the pale horse of death shall be hurled back on his haunches, but the white horse of peace, and joy, and triumph shall pass on, its rider with face like the sun, all nations following!
Your most obedient servant,
Kings of the kennel.
I said, when I lost Carlo, that I would never own another dog. We all sat around, like big children, crying about it; and what made the grief worse, we had no sympathizers. Our neighbors were glad of it, for he had not always done the fair thing with them. One of them had lost a chicken when it was stuffed and all ready for the pan, and suspicions were upon Carlo.