Gadsby, Clancy and Dowd “just had” to, according to unanimous opinion, go out to Lady Standish’s suburban plot of ground to visit “Big Four;” Gadsby, owing to an inborn liking for all animals; Clancy and Dowd from fond association with this particular group. It was a glorious spot; high, rolling land, with a patch of cool, shady woods, and a grand vista across hill and plain, with shining ponds and rich farm lands. And did “Big Four” know Clancy and Dowd? I’ll say so! And soon, with much happy whinnying and “acting up,” with two big roans poking inquiring snouts in Clancy’s hands, and two big blacks snuggling Gadsby and Dowd, as happy a group of Man and animals as you could wish for, was soon accompanying Lady Standish around that vast patch.
Anything that such animals could want was at hand. A bright, sparkling brook was gabbling and gurgling through a stony gully, or dropping, with many brilliant rainbows, down a tiny fall.
“Sally,” said Gadsby, “you do a grand work in maintaining this spot. If Mankind, as a body, would only think as you do, that an animal has a brain, and knows good living conditions, you wouldn’t find so many poor, scraggly old Dobbins plodding around our towns, dragging a cart far too big; and with a man totally without sympathy on it.”
And Lady Standish said:—
“I just can’t think of anybody abusing an animal; nor of allowing it to stay around, sick, hurt or hungry. I think that an animal is but a point short of human; and, having a skin varying but slightly from our own, will know as much pain from a whipping as would a human child. A blow upon any animal, if I am within sight, is almost as a blow upon my own body. You would think that, with that vast gap which Mankind is continually placing back of him in his onward march in improving this big world, Man would think, a bit, of his pals of hoof, horn and claw. But I am glad to say that, in this country, laws in many a community admit that an animal has rights. Oh, how an animal that is hurt looks up at you, John! An animal’s actions can inform you if it is in pain. It don’t hop and jump around as usual. No. You find a sad, crouching, cringing, small bunch of fur or hair, whining, and plainly asking you to aid it. It isn’t hard to find out what is wrong, John; any man or woman who would pass by such a sight, just isn’t worth knowing. I just can’t withstand it! Why, I think that not only animals, but plants can know pain. I carry a drink to many a poor, thirsty growing thing; or, if it is torn up I put it kindly back, and fix its soil up as comfortably as I can. Anything that is living, John, is worthy of Man’s aid.”