Thought for the Day

The publication of these letters threw the brutal public into an uproar. The Fox had hardly been thought of, and his connections, especially among the fighting beasts, made him a most formidable rival. One passage in his letter dealt a fatal blow to his most dangerous competitor, the Mule. It was the sentence, “a Judge of foreign habits and ideas.” Beasts asked what this meant? And then it came out, when it could no longer be concealed, that the Mule was a native of Spain, and had carried sherry over the mountains of Andalusia.

Uproar is a weak word to describe the scene which followed this astounding discovery. The Buffalo, though, from his position as chairman, he ought to have preserved a neutral attitude, confessed to the Mocking-Bird that he would despair of the success of their movement if so important an office as that of judge were intrusted to a foreigner. The ‘Possum and the Wild Cat concurred. But the most vehement opponent of the foreigner was a Tiger from Hindostan, who declared that if the Mule were elected the country would be ruined in six months. Up and down the camp this Hindoo ran, roaring that destruction was at hand unless the Mule was defeated. The Eagle of the Rocky Mountains persisted that if the Mule were eligible in other respects his Spanish birth should not stand in his way. But he was in the minority; especially when the Booby wrote an article in the Barker and Biter to prove that the Mule had once carried a Jesuit on his back, and had the sign of the cross on his forehead, were the brutes resolved to have none of him.

The Animal Declaration of Independence Harper’s January 1857 [edited extract being part 18 in a series of 19]

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