Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Gifts in Themselves
Tonight, sun setting, I came upon the neighbor farmer's Percherons, who like to come to the fence line to flirt with Sky. Sweaty fur caked in dirt they had just rolled in, they are magnificant creatures.
"We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. Remote from universal nature, and living by complicated artifice, man in civilization surveys the creature through the glass of his knowledge and sees thereby a feather magnified and the whole image in distortion. We patronize them for their incompleteness, for their tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and err greatly. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complicated than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendor and travail of the earth."
--- Henry Beston, 1928 (The Outermost House)