Page:Zhuang Zi - translation Giles 1889.djvu/140

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Chuang Tzŭ
 

CHAPTER IX.

Horses' Hoofs.

Argument:—Superiority of the natural over the artificial—Application of this principle to government.

HORSES have hoofs to carry them over frost and snow; hair, to protect them from wind and cold. They eat grass and drink water, and fling up their heels over the champaign. Such is the real nature of horses. Palatial dwellings are of no use to them.

One day Poh Loh

A Chinese Rarey, of somewhat legendary character.

appeared, saying, "I understand the management of horses."

So he branded them, and clipped them, and pared their hoofs, and put halters on them, tying them up by the head and shackling them by the feet, and disposing them in stables, with the result that two or three in every ten died. Then he kept them hungry and thirsty, trotting them and galloping them, and grooming, and trimming, with the misery of the tasselled bridle before and the fear of the knotted whip behind, until more than half of them were dead.