60. A Tinkling Cymbal (02/2013)
The natural virtues can be found in the least human of beings under most circumstances. We have the power to allow the strongest connections in the sentient world to manifest their life force, or looking through a glass darkly, sever the ties that bind.
Bart and Lady both know how it feels to be abandoned. Bart was rescued from an animal shelter and Lady saved from severe neglect. These dogs discovered a loving home where their romance is very clear. The pair has become inseparable. When sleeping there is always physical contact even if it’s just a stretched out paw, reassuringly touching the other. Bart is the ultimate gentleman: kind, gracious, and chivalrous. Lady is feisty, impetuous, demanding and affectionate. They complement one another in the most charming way, which enhances their relationship to the delight of their caregivers.
A typical horse farm has a prized stallion, an enforced bachelor who covers his seasonal quota of mares. Local stud Stallone, however, cohabits blissfully with life partner, Matisse. During the breeding season he goes out to flirt with other mares gallantly fulfilling his role, always returning to resume the amour. Even so, for ten years Matisse couldn’t conceive, but in her twenty first year she surprised everyone by giving birth to a beautiful filly. At about this time Stallone was diagnosed with a degenerative ocular disease making him go blind, and it is strangely his daughter who, through the strength of their bond and understanding, has become his eyes.
Endearing feline heartthrob, Narcissus, gazes at his reflection in the pond ostensibly catching fish, of which there are plenty in this sea. He is compelled to turn away momentarily, grooming his gleaming coat in an act of adoration that enhances his handsome appearance. The screaming queens preen and cajole, voluptuously visible, seductively averting their gaze. He is saving himself for that special pussy who needs to be more pleasing and available than the virtual aqueous veneer of his dreams. His conquests plead in vain for revelations of his mercurial soul, which lies at the heart of very deep water where even he won’t venture to tackle.
The Pig is a fun and enlightening personality blessed with patience and understanding. Pigs enjoy life and all it has to offer. They are honest and thoughtful and expect the same of other Pigs. Not only intelligent and cultured, the Pig also has a streak of bawdiness and earthiness – they delight in the stimulation of the senses. Pigs adore food, and often over indulge. Pigs are loving and loyal to their mates, and caring and considerate towards those they love. Pigs are sincere, sensitive and sweet, but naive. She allows herself to be duped easily, and is always disarmed by the bad faith of others. The Pig, defenseless, discreet and shy, will never ask anybody else for help; she’ll try to get out of the crate by herself. Her reticence in this respect may do her harm, for nobody will even suspect the torment she’s going through.
Motherly love is a phenomenal binding force as many mothers will affirm. After nine months’ pregnancy, the infant is born into a less perfect world and very soon a strong bond grips them both. Science has proven that it’s less traumatic to remove the calf from the cow before it is three days old rather than leaving them together for longer, diverting total milk yield for profit. She must go on to deliver a calf annually in order to maintain maximum milk production for her life’s duration.
Naturally free ranging hens adhere to a strict hierarchy that keeps the peace in a mutual agreement to live together harmoniously. There is no order to the pecking that ensues in the cramped battery cages where millions of hens find themselves incarcerated to produce sterile eggs with no hope of sanity. Frustrated hens resort to ‘cannibalism’ which is ‘controlled’ by searing their beaks and snipping off their toe tips on the day they hatch, vulnerable after the quiet security of the shell. The fate of these jailed birds is a damning representation of man’s unmitigated greed for luxury goods.
Although agape love also exists in the animal world, even between species, it remains man’s interpretive prerogative. If compassion means acting on feelings of empathy, human beings can improve on animals although they do not always do so.