I watch a documentary about Martians with the Owner. The Martians are not only extremely unfriendly, it does not Go Well for the Dog. I tell the Owner I am going to hide under the bed until the Martians have gone.
You will be under there for a long time, says the Owner. They haven’t arrived yet.
I can wait, I say.
Look, Hergest, she says. The War of the Worlds is just a story.
Nobody would make up a story like that, I say. In stories it always goes well for the Dog. Everyone knows that.
You are right, says the Owner with a sigh. When it is a story the Dog always survives. That is the First Rule of Stories. But the War of the Worlds is not an ordinary story, H.G.Wells said it was a metaphor for how the Imperial British swept the indigenous Tasman people out of existence through a war of extermination. You could compare it to China attempting to eradicate the Uighurs in Xinjiang today.
I knew it, I say. I am staying under the bed. What is to stop China also eradicating me?
The point about Metaphors, says the Owner, is that they remind you not only of what can happen but that it is possible to do something about it.
Ok then, I say. The Moral Dog is prepared to stand up to China. How does H G Wells get rid of the Martians?
The invaders are defeated by our bacteria, she says. It is ironically just.
I am greatly cheered by the idea that we can tackle China’s abuses in Xinjiang with our bacteria. If the previous critique of the Owner is to believed, I can acquire plenty of these just by rolling in fox poo. Who would have thought defeating China would be so pleasant? I come out from under the bed.
Shall we go to the Park? I say. We could make a start.
You do not need to roll in fox poo, says the Owner. The bacteria are also a metaphor. The Invaders are doomed by their Own Greed. We have to persuade China that by destroying Xinjiang they are harming themselves. This is both logical and ironically just.
I agree this sounds both logical and ironically just. I can’t help thinking, though, that fox poo would be easier.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.