January, 2008

People who keep pets and neglect them or haven't got the damned common sense to provide for them-- when the pets spend their lives in devotion and giving unconditional love and service-- ought to be arrested. Or worse. People who abuse animals are complete scumbags, barely a notch above child molesters on the Lowlife Food Chain..

My mother told a story about walking in Van Cortlandt Park (NYC) one hot, summer day when she was just a little girl. This would've been 1927 or '28. Her grandfather-- my great-grandfather-- was walking with her, holding her hand. She says she remembers vividly that as they rounded a corner, they saw
a poor, old horse harnessed to a cart.

There was a big load of something or other in the cart, and the horse was sagging in his harness, stumbling, unable to pull it. The driver was standing up in the front of the cart, bent forward, beating the horse with a stick and yelling at it. The horse was whinnying, panting and obviously exhausted and in pain.

She says she remembers her grandfather (an elderly Irishman, well into his 70's, who'd kept many a horse in his day) trembling, going completely rigid, and then crouching down and telling her: "Now, you stay right here, darlin'--   don't you move from this spot!"

With that, he ran toward the man in the cart, snatching up a fallen piece of tree branch as he went. He leapt into the cart and proceeded to beat the living hell out of the driver, raining blows all over his head and shoulders, all the while bellowing at him: "Beat a poor, defenseless animal, will you? How do you like it, you miserable son of a bitch?"

Onlookers had to pull him off the driver, who was cringing and sobbing. They urged him to leave before someone called the police. Great grandfather gave the man a final kick, and said: "If I ever see the like of that again, old son, I'll cripple ye!" and he returned to take my awe-stricken mother by the hand.

She recalls that he bought her ice cream later on. Go, great-grandpa; go! The world needs more people like him.

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