It Was The Dog That Died

Actually, it wasn’t a dog but the owner of a fighting rooster that died when he tried to force his bird back into the ring after a match in India. The fighting cocks have razor sharp knives tied to their legs and the struggling bird succeeded in slashing the throat of the owner, causing him to bleed to death. The bird is on the run and is yet to be found and have the blades removed.

Cock fighting is a major gambling activity in many parts of the world and in the Philippines is the national sport, vying with basketball for the attention  of the local men. It is bloody and brutal and very lucrative with huge sums of money wagered as well as invested in breeding stock and scientific feed development.

We in  the west might see this tragic death as poetic justice but that is to judge these people by our standards in a western societal context. Is that fair given they are neither westerners nor have the same society as we in which to try their fortune? In the 18th century, an Irishman named Oliver Goldsmith, once described as an ‘inspired idiot’, wrote an elegy to a mad dog.  The mad dog bit a man but in the end, ‘It was the dog that died.’ Here we have a case of the man forcing the rooster to risk its life fighting in the arena with razor blades tied to its legs and yet it was the man that died.

Irony aside, the man no doubt fed, clothed, housed and educated his wife and children from the winnings of that rooster, not to forget amused himself as he went from cradle to grave with less to look forward to as far as opportunity goes than the average western man.  While some among us will cheer for the rooster, what does that say about those in our society that have so little to challenge their daily existence they need to root for the rooster and mock the man?

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