20. Behind Closed Mores (06/2009)

by brettthevet

Random acts of kindness juxtaposed with cruelty impose a chaotic tryst of twisted loyalties on our society. Guilt and loathing can emerge as macabre vaunting, haunting defenseless victims in their own homes, public places, and even desecrating open spaces with traces of malice.

In our town a dog was bound and strung up in a thorn tree, beaten and stoned until it died while decent people took tea and biscuits under a fading cerise sky. Cries and laughter, sighs and after sundown, come down, sink to earth and search for selfless hints of honour in this wilderness, Waterless, tearless, full of rage and hate.

Orphaned calves bellow below a seething sun, pleading, and needing care. A pair of helping hands not in pockets free to feed, water, slaughter. Mercy killing is quick and blameless, no evidence from mute victims of shameless neglects by savagery behind a beer and braai veneer.

Five fast cats in a week were crushed on our quiet village streets. Screaming motors, steaming rotor blades chopping and grinding, winding out life on our roadways where people meet and children play as before. In the way, out of the way, shift swift. Wait, too late. Stop. Rushing, crushing features, creatures delicate and true.

What dogs cower in human company? Obedience training through fear is clearly the dastardly tactics practised under a suppressive regime. Praise and reward for good behaviour is nonsense when violence is anticipated in a stroke. Consider a London Park teaming with proud and playful hounds bounding boldly past cyclists, joggers, toddlers, and bloggers. Well socialised, responsive, obedient, trusting: never struck. There are no short cuts. But through knowledge and admiration something understood about the good nature of man’s best friend commands reverence for these guardians of humanity.

Money for airtime, quad bikes, speeding fines, and labour strikes, saved by using ropes to cast and castrate the epitome of freedom that is a stallion in spite of the light offered by anaesthesia and medicinal pain relief for slashed flesh.

Men hunt to kill for pleasure and thrills, the beautiful treasure roaming our hills, yet savour the bliss of a kiss, filled with fear and cowardice.

Floating around town the disarming sounds of sweetly singing birds escaping bloodshed elsewhere convey innocence revealed through nature, unraveling our limited view of the world.

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