Friday, April 16, 2004

How come none of his assigned reading was ever this funny?

It appears as if Roger Scruton has become the intellectual British Ted Nugent. An excerpt from Roger Scruton's new book "News From Somewhere" in The Guardian follows.

Of Asian origin (the name is from Javanese mindjangan) muntjacs escaped a century ago from Woburn Abbey park, and, like the mink, found a disused ecological niche and entered it with all the force of a drug-pusher in a children's playground.
And that's not even the best bit.
Sheep are resident also in our neighbourhood, and lambing is one of the most important seasons of the year. One orphan was found by Paul, our next door neighbour's son. The lamb had been caught and worried by a dog. Alive but bleeding, he had been brought into the kitchen, and his wounds sewn up. Each day Paul would feed him with cow's milk from a bottle and, in due course, he recovered. He acquired a name - Herbie - and was the playmate and companion of his rescuer. The children of the neighbourhood were drawn to Herbie, and he would frisk and skip with them quite happily as though they, too, were lambs.

And then, one day, Herbie ceased to dance. He observed the gambols of his former playmates from the zig-zag pupils of his yellowing eye with a cool and cynical disdain. He responded to the small hands that patted with barely concealed impatience. At every opportunity, he sought to melt into the anonymous fleece on the hillside. He had lost his personality, and become a sheep.

A few months later, we ate Herbie, not shedding a tear.
British irony at its most deliciously cruel. It warms my heart to think of the conniptions the PETA types surely among the Guardian readership will have when they read those words. I shall look forward to the next few days of letters to the Guardian immensely.