26 January 2016

The Dog in the Manger

Long term readers of the Dope City Free Press are familiar with my admiration of William Godwin. I am a political fellow and no political philosophy fits better what I understand of the history of society, society's present or its future than Godwin's.

I did not know, until yesterday, that the man who first fully formulated the political philosophy of Anarchism also, under a number of pseudonyms, published a great deal of literature for children. A timely find it turns out given the difficult days both Sonja and now face as our Hammer seeks the peace of the other side.

Here then the story of the Dog and the Manger by William Godwin.

A naughty dog once went into a stable, and having looked about him, jumped into the manger, thinking that was a nice, snug place for him to sleep in. Presently a little boy came into the stable, leading his papa's horse, that had been ploughing a whole field, and was very tired, and very hungry. Come out poor fellow! said the little boy to the dog, papa's horse wants to eat some hay. But the naughty dog never stirred a bit; he only made an ugly face, and snarled very much. The little boy went up close to him and endeavoured to take him out; but then the naughty dog barked and growled, and even tried to bite the little boy. The little boy was not big enough to manage such an ill-natured cur; so he turned in the horse, and stood by to see what would happen. The horse looked very hungry, and very tired, and put his head to the rack to get a mouthful of hay. But the naughty dog snapped at the poor horse's mouth. The horse was very sorry, and would have said, Pray dog, let me eat! If he had been able. But the naughty dog did not care. You silly dog, said the little boy, hay is of no use to you, dogs do not eat hay, though horses do; and if you stay there, you will soon be as hungry as papa's horse. So the dog staid a long while, and by and by he grew hungry, and came to the little boy, and begged for meat. Silly dog, said the little boy, if I were as naughty as you, I should give you nothing to eat, as you prevented papa's horse from eating. There is a plate of meat for you; and remember another time, that only naughty dogs, and naughty boys and girls, keep away from others what they cannot use themselves.

On the sidebar to your right I have added a link to some of William Godwin's children's literature. Read them to your children and grandchildren, motherfuckers. What made sense for children 200 years ago continues to.

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