It is very very sad. And very very moving. I tell the Owner we need to watch it again. I think I may have some more emotions to let out.
The Owner asks if Howling is the only possible way to let out my Emotions.
I say sometimes the Moral Dog has Emotions so Profound that only a Howl will do.
The Owner says she thinks I should stop watching Adverts. The Howling is rattling the trees and the squirrels are starting to fall out.
I say, but the Dragon in the Advert is so sad.
The point about an Advert, says the Owner, is that it is not Real, it is a Metaphor of Commercialism. The Point of the Advert was to imply that the Dragon, were he to have been Real and were he have to been Sad would have become much happier once the Owner presented him with the perfect Christmas Present.
I say Terry Pratchett says just because something is a Metaphor that Doesn’t Mean it Can’t be Real.
This is true, says the Owner, but you must realise the Dragon is an Actor.
I say he nevertheless represents Sad Dragons Everywhere. I say I have written my own letter to Santa Claus, so that I will not be placed in the unhappy dilemma of the Dragon, who has to rely on his Owner to work out what the perfect Christmas Present for him would be. I have laid it out plainly. There is no Commercialism involved.
The Owner goes quiet for a while. Then she says, sometimes, Hergest, Santa cannot bring exactly what we ask for.
I say I know he can, because when Terry Pratchett’s Friend Death was Santa Claus he gave everyone exactly what they wanted, and that worked out really well. I am sure Santa Claus will do the same.
The Owner says when Death was Santa Claus he gave a Small Human a Sword for Christmas. She could have hurt herself. That was not Wise.
It was Very Wise, I say. It would have taught her a valuable lesson about Swords.
The Owner sighs. Hergest, she says, you cannot have a Pet for Christmas.
I say I don’t see why not. We have not got a Pet. I have suggested a Dragon in my letter, or possible three as they are Herd Animals, but if the Owner has strong feelings about some other sort of Pet I could compromise on two, or perhaps one with an Emotional Support Animal for company.
She says she does not think Dragons are Herd Animals, but that is Beside the Point. We do not have space for a Dragon. Nor a Fire Extinguisher.
I say when things are Really Important you have to Find a Way. I point out that Hannibal, who is widely considered one of the greatest military commanders in history, famously said ‘We Will Find a Way or Make One.’
The Owner says we do not need a Pet. We have Each Other and also the Man. Is that not enough for the Moral Dog?
I say it is entirely enough for the Moral Dog. However I have heard her tell many people she had wanted a Pet for a long time before I came along and distracted her from her longing. Even though I realise my Moral Companionship may have somewhat Assuaged the Need, I can tell she still Hankers after a Pet.
The Owner clears her throat. You mean the Pet was for me? She asks.
Of course, I say nobly. Although we could share. Quality Street are Made for Sharing. I do not tell her that came from another Advert. It might Diminish the Spirit of the Message.
The Owner blows her nose and gives me an Unaccountably Tight Hug. I will investigate, she says, but do not think Santa can bring you a Dragon. Dragons cannot be Pets.
The advert comes on again. The Dragon is looking really sad. But who will look after the Dragon? I ask. I can feel another Howl beginning. The trees tremble in anticipation. The squirrels cling nervously to the ends.
The Owner says the Dragon, when not Acting, does not need to be looked after. He is a Moral Dragon. Like the Moral Dog he cannot be Owned. Remember what Kant said, she says. Moral beings cannot be things, they are Ends rather than Means to Ends. This is why we cannot have the Dragon.
The Owner switches unaccountably to BBC.
I realise she is right. The Howl goes away. I will amend my letter to Santa Claus. I will ask for a Duck. They are not Moral at all.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.