I do not understand why I only have Four Legs, I tell the Owner.
It is because you are a Dog, says the Owner.
That is like saying that the Owner has only Two Legs because she is a Person, I say. A simple Factual Correlation between Dogness and Leg Numbers does not explain Causation, I say. Call yourself a Scientist, I say. You might as well say the Earth is round because it has not been Stamped on, I say. Or that Caspar has fluff because he is Fluffy, I say. Or that the Moral Dog has not got his Own Fridge because Dogs do not have their own Fridges, I say.
Well, says the Owner, most living creatures have an even number of legs because they are constrained by gravity and turning left and turning right are geometrically the same. Symmetry therefore makes sense for Ambulant Creatures.
Six Legs would be much more useful than Four, I say. I would like to put in a request for More Legs, I say. Six Legs would be far more useful, I say. Particularly if I had my Own Fridge, I say.
It is Too Late, says the Owner. The Moral Dog should have asked when the legs were being given out. The Vertebrate body plan was settled upon by the Moral Dog’s Ancestors about 525 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion, says the Owner.
On what basis could anyone ever have thought that Four Legs was Enough? I ask.
Well, says the Owner, Six would have required a Longer Body. Given that strength increases broadly with the square of the body length but weight increases with the cube of the body length, I imagine that in the Trade-offs of Stability, Versatility and Efficiency Four Legs was broadly considered best.
That takes little account of Fridges, I say.
I think it was probably based on the Information Available at the Time, says the Owner.
That does not sound like Consent to me, I say. It sounds to me as though Ancestral Dogs were not Properly Informed, I say. Material Information was Lacking, I say. The Modern Moral Dog is still Paying the Price today, I say.
What information does the Moral Dog feel was material? Asks the Owner.
They did not consider Access to Fridges, I say.
I do not think they knew about Fridges, says the Owner. I think that the Fridges evolved later, says the Owner. 525 million years is a Long Time Ago, says the Owner. the World was very different, says the Owner.
How long did it take for the Fridges to Evolve? I ask.
About 525 million years, says the Owner, give or take a few months.
So when did the First Dogs first get their Own Fridges? I ask.
Never, says the Owner.
So where did they keep their Ice Lollies? I ask.
I think the Moral Dog is slightly missing the Point, says the Owner. There were no Fridges, says the Owner.
The Poor Dogs, I say. One would think, I say, that the pre-Cambrians might have put in a clause to allow a fresh vote in the event of the Development of Fridges, I say. I think we should renegotiate, I say. I presume Moral Dogs got a Vote at the time, I say. Can we demand a Judicial Review? I ask.
No, says the Owner, there were no Moral Dogs to Own any Fridges, says the Owner. Only our Earliest Ancestors were there, says the Owner.
And did they not like Iced Lollies? I ask.
I do not think they ever tried one, says the Owner.
That is no surprise, I say. They would all have melted, I say. Given the lack of Fridges, I say. And Foresight, I say. What a waste, I say. I hope we are not talking about Ancestral Ducks, I say. I do not want to imagine that my current shortage of legs is a consequence of decisions taken by the Ancestral Duck, I say. That would be a bitter pill, I say. It is well known that Modern Ducks do not Appreciate Iced Lollies, I say. If the Moral Dog’s lack of Limbs arises from Duck Self-Interest, I say. That would be a Travesty of Justice, I say.
I believe the decision on Leg Numbers was taken long before the Ancestral Duck, says the Owner. It was the Ancestral Lobe-finned Fish that Started the Trend, says the Owner. It had four strong bony fins that allowed it to wallow on land, says the Owner. As a result all its descendants carry that same body plan, says the Owner.
An Ancestral Fish, I say. No wonder it did not Anticipate a Fridge, I say. That explains the need for Judicial review, I say.
You are not having your Own Fridge, says the Owner.
After all, what would a Fish keep in a Fridge? I say.
Oh for goodness sake, says the Owner.
Although it could have used a Freezer, I say. For the Peas, I say. I could acknowledge that in my request for Judicial Review, I say.
I think the Moral Dog is missing the Point, says the Owner.
And the Chips, I say.
Lobe-finned Fish did not keep Chips, says the Owner. This is why they did not have Fridges, says the Owner.
So where did Other Cambrians keep their Iced Lollies? I ask. I will add this information for the Benefit of the Judge, I say. When challenging this Ludicrous Fish Totalitarianism, I say.
If I get you a Lolly will you please Shut Up, says the Owner.
I will think about it, I say. Given that the Moral Dog has been desperately Short-Changed on the Legs Front, I say, it may perhaps Partially Compensate, I say. Especially if it is one of those Mango Ones, I say. Although I also like the Strawberry Ones, I say. If I had my Own Fridge, I say, I would not need to choose, I say.
Argh, says the Owner.
I expect the Judge will take this into Account, I say.
Why did you just give That Dog Two Iced Lollies? Asks the Man.
Just don’t ask, says the Owner.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.