Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Relating to Nature

Environmental & Science Education
Edward Hessler

Can ye no leave the bloody horse alone?--Horse Owner to James Herriott

I've been meaning to post this short clip from The Dodo (category Soulmates) for a while. It is a touching story about a wild fox, a woman and a fable for us. 

The fox and woman have something in common which I can express only in my terms since I'm unable to ask the fox.  Let me call it a condition of regard one for the other.

This is a time when the term "bonding" with nature is frequently used. It often includes disturbing it and in the case of critters invading their space as well as touching/petting them. I think this short video suggests another, more natural way. It is certainly one worth considering.

You may have read books by James Herriott (pen name for James Wight) about his years of veterinary practice in Yorkshire. The epigraph is from a story he told about his first year in Veterinary College when, on the third day, he attended his first class on animal husbandry. It concerned the fine points of a horse. To make it more interesting the professor included some practical points, too. The lecturer used a life-size picture to point out terms such as pastern, stifle, poll, coronet, snip.
While walking home that day Herriott noticed a coal cart and a horse. So he walked around the horse pointing out to himself what he had learned. When it was time to leave he thought he would make a gesture to the horse and patted him on the head. The horse immediately grabbed him by a shoulder (fortunately he was wearing a strong jacket) and lifted him from the ground. No matter his loud pleadings, the horse would not release him. Others tried to help but the horse was having none of that. The coal man returned, yelled and finally dug his thumb deep into the horse's belly and Herriott was dropped.

The owner was very annoyed with Herriott. He also said something else, too, which Herriott heard as he rounded a corner. This could have been used as the epigraph, too. "Dinna meddle wi' things ye ken nuthin' aboot!"

No comments:

Post a Comment