The Owner and I have been Watching the Prime Minister’s briefing. The Owner has gone that Lilac colour she reserves for Prime Ministers, Health Secretaries, Home Secretaries and Those People who keep Ringing the Doorbell in the Middle of the Night.
Can we go to the Zoo? I ask.
No, says the Owner.
I would like to improve my Knowledge and Understanding of the World, I say.
Still No, says the Owner.
That is not very Democratic, I say. The Prime Minister said I can go to the Zoo, I say. You are a Great Big Meanie, I say.
The Prime Minister did not say you could go to the Zoo, says the Owner. When the Prime Minister said ‘you can go to the Zoo’ he was not talking to the Moral Dog.
How was the Moral Dog supposed to know that? I ask.
The Prime Minister talks only to those who Vote, says the Owner, and in fact many would argue he talks only to those who Voted for Him, and even then only if he is saying what they Want to Hear.
Then the Prime Minister is a Great Big Meanie, I say. On what Moral Basis could the Prime Minister have left the Moral Dog off the list of those who can Go to the Zoo?
The Prime Minister rarely appears to feel he requires a Moral Basis for anything he says, says the Owner, but in his defence he did not decide that the Moral Dog could not go to the Zoo. It was the Zoo that decided.
Why? I ask.
The Zoo was made for Humans to look at Zoo Animals, says the Owner. The Educational Needs of Moral Dogs were, sadly, never considered. But we can write to them and suggest that the Situation is Reviewed. Although I do not think you would like the Monkeys. They can be Very Rude.
The Moral Dog has been Trained by Ducks, I say. Monkeys hold no Fear for him. I shall write to the Zoo at once.
Meanwhile shall we drive through Regents Park to see the Giraffes? Says the Owner.
Very well, I say, I will accept this Meagre Crumb of Compensatory Entertainment, I say.
We drive past the Zoo. We see the Giraffes. They are impossible to Miss despite a Tall Hedge and Various Buildings.
I do not understand, I say, how People can be so Cruel. Who did that to them?
I agree, says the Owner, that many feel that the whole concept of a Zoo is now an Anachronism, but the Zoo does do important Breeding Work.
I did not mean that, I say. Who did that to their Necks? He was a Great Big Meanie.
That was Evolution, says the Owner.
What is Evolution? I ask.
It is the gradual changing of the Many Species of Living Things on our Planet that began with the Primordial Slime and Culminated in the Extraordinary Variety of Living Things that include Ducks, Squirrels and the Moral Dog, says the Owner.
Then he is a Great Big Meanie too. I say.
Evolution is not a Meanie, says the Owner. Evolution is what Expanded the Diversity of Species to utilise every possible part of the Ecosystem, says the Owner. Thus Giraffes evolved to eat the Highest Leaves as there were No Other Leaves Left, whilst Moral Dogs evolved to be Companions and Critical Moral Friends to Persons who clearly required Input on that Front. Ducks evolved to Exploit the many advantages of Floating in terms of Avoiding Moral Dogs and Squirrels Evolved for the Entertainment and Exercise of the Moral Dog. Evolution ensures that Nature leaves no Possible Role Unfilled.
What did the Prime Minister Evolve for? I ask.
To be a Great Big Meanie, says the Owner.
I suppose Somebody had to do it.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.