Kindness to Animals eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 54 pages of information about Kindness to Animals.

Next, all creatures like liberty:  a horse or a dog is never so happy as when bounding across the fields in perfect freedom.  Why does chaining or tying up a dog make him savage?  Because he then looks on mankind as his enemies, and fancies that everybody he meets is going to take away his liberty.  My dogs have known as little about chains as possible:  two of them had been used to be tied up before I had them, and I never could break them of being savage.  As to beating it out of them, it would be like putting on coals to keep a fire from burning.  That, you know, makes the fire look dull for a little while; but the moment you stir it, up it blazes, much higher and brighter than if no coals had been put on.  I knew a horse that was not naturally good-tempered, and bad usage had made him much worse:  he was then bought by a gentleman, who gave him enough of the whip, and spur, and sharp iron bit to cure him, if that could have done it; but it only made him cunning and revengeful.  Poor beast! a little patient kindness would have gone much farther.  I will tell you an instance of this.

Once I had a mare, and such a beautiful creature she was!  She lived on a sort of farm, where they had not put her to work, and where the children had been used to play with her.  She was hardly full grown.  I lived then in a house with very low windows, and the pretty mare was grazing on the outside.  One warm day, the windows were all open, and I was sitting at work, when she popped her beautiful head and neck in at the one nearest to me.  I gave her a bit of bread that was lying by me, and told her to go away; but she would not.  I said to myself, “Why should I drive her away?  God made the animals to be loving and confiding towards man; and if this lonely creature wants me to be a friend to her, why should I not?  The Bible says, ’A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast;’ and what is life to a poor animal that has no hereafter to look to, if its life be without comforts?” So I put down my work, and went and rubbed her forehead, stroked her long white face, patted her shining neck, and talked to her.  After this when I was alone at my morning work, she was sure to put her head in at one of the windows, to ask, in her dumb way, to be petted; and many an apple, many a handful of oats, did she get by coming there.  She would soon listen for my footstep about the house, and I seldom could look out from any window without seeing her under it, or before it.  She would also follow me like a dog when I walked in the grounds where she grazed.

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One day, a gentleman’s groom undertook to ride her; but he began by whipping and by jerking the bridle, which is a very cruel thing.  My mare did not like this; and as he went on doing it, she lost her patience; and after a long trial as to who should be master, she threw him over her head, and trotted home to her stable.  He was not hurt, but very much mortified, being a soldier, and a great horseman;

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Kindness to Animals from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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