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196 PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE. fear, brutal must be the mind of the savage who would not feel more pleasure in the services of the confiding and willing servant than in those of the detesting and crouching slave.
It is something like this with hounds: it is perhaps as natural to the fox-hound to hunt hare as fox, though actuated by different motives to chase both. We may and do leave the whelp to contract what habits he likes at his walk; and certainly afterwards coupling him up to a gate, and one or perhaps two whips flogging him nearly to death, will afterwards awe him from habits we have permitted him to learn. How far this is to be reconciled with any idea of justice or common humanity, I do not say; but this I know, I have often shuddered at such a sight, and trust I ever shall do so while I hold the name of man. If we see a few fine fellows knocked over in the field of battle, all run the same risk, and it is in a “glorious cause!” We exclaim," there goes poor sucha-one:" the mind has not time to dwell on the subject; and after-reflection tells us we must all go, and it matters little what may be the messenger it pleases Providence to send for us: but torturing to all but death an animal for following a natural propensity that we have permitted him to indulge in, until for our own pleasures we determine to break him of it, produces a feeling of disgust and contempt towards its perpetrator. I should say by whelps as I do by colts — begin their education early enough; a stroke with a switch will awe a whelp of two months old: couples and two hunting whips would not then become necessary afterwards.' Horses, dogs, other animals, and men, have all duties to perform. Those duties must be performed, and enforced; but when we can get those duties better performed by education
ALARMING COLTS WHEN SHOEING.
and kindness than by force and fear, interest alone should induce us to adopt the former mode.
No man of sense conversant with horses will deny that where the generality of them resist, fear, not vice, is the cause of it. Fear, then, is the very first thing we should do away with in the colt, and nothing but beginning with him from his infancy will do this.
We have frequently a great deal of trouble in shoeing a colt the first time it is done. How, in the name of common sense, could we expect any thing else? A goose naturally often chooses to stand on one leg: I have had to do with some thousands of horses, but I must say I never saw one voluntarily stand upon three, unless in great agony with the fourth. The actual fear of falling will make the colt resist being held in, to him, an unnatural position ; yet the animal is expected to allow a smith to hold him by force in a position for a quarter of an hour together that he never before stood in for a minute in his life. He perhaps kicks at this ; when, to re-assure his fears, he probably gets a stroke with the hammer. This is enough to make a horse troublesome to shoe for life. Many horses hate smiths: some will not approach a forge. This does not proceed from the kindness they have received from such men or in such places. Some horses will not permit a smith to come near them in his smith's dress; put the groom's stable dress on him, and the horse will allow himself to be shod. Can any thing speak plainer ? The animal does not resist your wishes, or care about being shod; he dreads the smith, not the shoeing Horses have no natural antipathy to smiths or forges, but they have to illusage. A colt has no more natural objection to permitting you to touch his hind leg than his head;
198 ANIMALS MORE GRATEFUL THAN MAN. and if from the first his hind legs were as often handled as his neck, he would no more kick at you for doing this than he would bite or strike at you for handling his fore-quarters. It is the novelty of any act that alarms the young horse, not the act itself. Why is it that vicious horses seldom hurt children ? they kick, bite, or strike at man, because man has illused them: children have not. Surely this shows that vice is not the leading and natural propensity of the animal! The child has probably never done any thing to challenge the attachment of the animal; he has merely never done any thing to injure him. Even this he repays by gratitude and confidence. What would he then not do for those who would take a very little trouble to win his attachment and sooth his natural fear of man! Any thing that Nature had given him the power to perform or the instinct to comprehend !
In advocating as strenuously as I do the utmost gentleness towards animals, and most particularly young ones, I am not on this occasion doing so as merely advocating the cause of animals : a pretty widelyextended intercourse with mankind, and a somewhat close investigation of the feelings and disposition of the generality of my fellow men, have been quite sufficient to prevent me attempting so Quixotical a campaign; nor do I possess sufficient moral courage to brave the sneers and ridicule that in this my enlightened country always have been so bounteously bestowed on any one who has particularised himself as the friend of animals : at least, such has hitherto been the meed bestowed on those who have thus stood forward in this cause from the majority of those from whom we might have expected better things. I thereINTEREST THE LEADING PRINCIPLE IN MAN. · 199
fore take another“ line of country," and one that always gives a glorious run, – the line of man's interest. Here every one is wide awake in a moment, tries to get a good start, and is anxious to keep in the first flight. It is true, many take the wrong way to do either; but they all try at it. May every heart of the right sort find itself in that place ere the grim Huntsman we must all obey gives his deciding who-whoop!
The breeder who has a valuable brood mare of course wishes to keep her as free from accident as possible. In no way can he do that more than by rendering her as tame and quiet as possible. The same rule holds good with the colt while running with the dam ; and when the time arrives that he will be wanted for use, I believe most persons will agree with me that the less trouble he gives in learning his duties, whatever they may be, the better it will be for his safety and for the pocket of his owner. With the generality of colts, treated as they mostly are, their wildness is the first stumbling block in the way of the breaker. Till this is got over, no good can be got from them. Then their natural timidity has to be assuaged; for though a horse may be made to do some things by force and punishment, we can teach him nothing while in a state of alarm. So long as this lasts, all his energies are employed in resistance, or endeavouring to get away. The hare, as timid an animal as any in nature, can be brought to fire a pistol without evincing or probably feeling the slightest alarm ; but at the commencement of her tuition, all the punishment we could inflict would not induce her to remain quiet at the slightest flash of the pan. We have no greater right to expect a colt to permit even a surcingle to be put on him without resisting, or being alarmed
at it, if done for the first time, unless he has been reared in that confidence with us that he never expects injury at our hands. This the colt brought up wild naturally does expect, and as naturally resists.
Cows, with now and then an exception, are all tame: even when we find one that is not, depend upon it some extraordinary circumstance either in her rearing or after-usage has occasioned her to become otherwise. The calf, on leaving the mother, is as tame as herself, and would remain so if the same treatment was continued : but if it is suffered to remain in a pasture instead of being daily brought into intercourse with man, it becomes wild. Probably, from having been accustomed to follow the mother home, it still wishes and attempts to do so. How is its wish to continue on good terms with us rewarded ? It is driven back with shouts, and, should it succeed in joining the herd, its attempts at domestication are probably repaid with a hedge-stake to prevent a recurrence of them. Can we wonder if it afterwards both fears and hates man? yet the moment the time comes when this same animal is wanted for his use, it is expected to stand meekly to be milked by perhaps the very savage it has such just reason to dread: if it does not, it is tied up, and probably the hedge-stake again applied. Need we be surprised at seeing so many of these animals with knobs on their horns or a board across their faces ? I do not mean to say this drive-about system is permitted to be practised with valuable colts; but, mutatis mutandis, it is in pretty general use with ordinary ones. No wonder, then, breakers are wanted when this is the case. But though none of this is allowed with the high-bred colt, or any thing done to purposely frighten him, not onetenth part is done that ought to be done to render