Page:Sawdust & Spangles.djvu/200

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170
SAWDUST AND SPANGLES

couraging array of ragged ears, of split noses, of shredded limbs and lacerated trunks. But at these substantial warnings the novice and the past-master in the art of "working" animals alike only laugh and scout the idea of danger or dread. At least, this is their attitude in private conversation, when not attempting to make an impression on the minds of their auditors.

If all animals subjected to training were even in disposition, and did not have their ugly moods, the same as their human lords, the principal element of danger to trainers would be removed. Unfortunately, it is the universal testimony of the men who have devoted their lives to the training of fierce creatures that the most docile, obedient and friendly carnivorous creature is sure to be in an ugly humor sooner or later, and then is the great time of test. These sudden, unexpected and abnormal moods in the animals handled are responsible for having sent scores of good trainers to early graves.


THE PERILS OF A TRAINER'S LIFE

Let us suppose an animal to be even-tempered. This means he is always at his maximum of ugliness. He shows every day the