Dear Mr. Hammer: I read you column every week. I don’t always agree with your views, but I almost always find your writing entertaining and/or food for thought.
Your column this week (Hammer, “A tale of two cats,” Feb. 15-22) about cats is another I can’t quite agree with. Cats are okay. I much prefer dogs, though. But I’m not writing just to say that. You mentioned the “slavery” of dogs and that reminded me of a very old story. I thought you might like to hear it if you haven’t already:
A Wolf is starving. He hasn’t had much success at hunting the last several days. As he’s looking around for his next meal he comes across a well-fed Dog. He asks the Dog what he had to do to eat so well.
“Very little,” says the Dog. “Drive away beggars, guard the house, show fondness to the master, be submissive and you are given food and a warm place to stay.”
The Wolf thinks about this. He lives his life in constant danger, food is never certain and he’s outside in the worst of weather.
So he thought he might try the Dog’s life.
As the two are walking along together, the Wolf notices that some hair around the Dog’s neck has worn thin. He asks what caused it and the Dog says it’s nothing, “It’s just where the collar and chain rub.”
The Wolf stops in his tracks. “Chain?” he asks. “You mean you aren’t free to roam where you choose?”
The Dog says, “No, but what does that matter?”
“Much,” says the Wolf as he turns and walks away. “Much.”