The Original Fables of La Fontaine/The Dog with His Ears cropped

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XXXI

THE DOG WITH HIS EARS CROPPED

(Book X.—No. 9)

"What have I done to be treated in this way? Mutilated by my own master! A nice state to be in! Dare I present myself before other dogs? O ye kings over the animals, or rather tyrants of them, would any creature do the same to you?"

Such were the lamentations of poor Fido, a young house-dog, whilst those who were busy cropping his ears remained quite untouched by his piercing and dolorous howls.

Fido believed himself to be ruined for life; but he very shortly found that he was a gainer by the maiming. For being by nature disposed to pilfer from his companions, it would come within his experience to have many misadventures wherein his ears would be torn in a hundred places.

Aggressive dogs always have ragged ears. The less they have for other dogs' teeth to fasten upon the better.

When one has but a single weak place to defend, one protects it against an onset. Witness Master Fido armed with a spiked collar, and having no more ears to catch hold of than are on my hand. Even a wolf would not have known where to take him.