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White, T.H. (ed.) / The book of beasts
(1960)

I. Beasts,   pp. [5]-99 ff.


Page 66

The body lay unburied.  The crowd of onlookers was
dense.  The dog stood by. He was weeping for his
master's woe with a piteous howl. Now it chanced that
he who had committed the murder-such is the devious-
ness of human cunning-had innocently joined the mob
of spectators and approached the corpse as if in mourn-
ing, so that he might lay claim to confidence by assuming
authority in the middle of the fuss.  At this the dog,
putting aside its lamentation for a little while, took up
the weapons of revenge, and gripped the fellow tight, and,
wailing a keen that sounded like some heart-breaking
tragic epilogue, reduced everybody to tears. And what
gave weight to the proof was that the dog only held up
this one person from among so many, and would not let
him go.  At length the wretch became terrified, for he
did not know how to refute such an obvious testimony-
not even by objecting that there was hatred, unfriendli-
ness, envy or malice among the bystanders-and he no
longer knew how to deny the fact. Thereupon, because
it was all very difficult, he was put to the torture: in
which he was not able to maintain his innocence.
  In licking a wound, the tongue of a dog heals the same.
  Its way of life is reported to be perfectly temperate,
you see. What is more, the tongue of a puppy makes a
salve for men's intestines, if they are wounded.
  The dog's nature is that it returns to its own vomit and
gobbles it up again.
  And if it happens to cross a river carrying some meat
or anything of that sort, when it sees its reflection it opens
its mouth and, while it hastens to pick up the other bit of
meat, it loses the one which it had.
  In certain ways, Priests are like watchdogs. They
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