Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bit by Bit - Chapter 9, Part 1

Trey Smith

Horses' hoofs are made for treading frost and snow, their coats for keeping out wind and cold. To munch grass, drink from the stream, lift up their feet and gallop this is the true nature of horses. Though they might possess great terraces and fine halls, they would have no use for them.

Then along comes Po Lo. "I'm good at handling horses!" he announces, and proceeds to singe them, shave them, pare them, brand them, bind them with martingale and crupper, tie them up in stable and stall. By this time two or three out of ten horses have died. He goes on to starve them, make them go thirsty, race them, prance them, pull them into line, force them to run side by side, in front of them the worry of bit and rein, behind them the terror of whip and crop. By this time over half the horses have died.

~ Burton Watson translation ~
Humankind announces, "We know how to handle rivers" and proceeds to pollute them, redirect them, dam them and lay waste to their run-off areas. Especially out here in the West, the salmon start to die off and people scratch their heads. "Gee, I wonder what's causing that?"

To view the Index page for this series, go here.

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