"What have I done to be treated in this way? Mutilated by my
own master! A nice state to be in! Dare I present myself before other
dogs? O ye kings over the animals, or rather tyrants of them, would any
creature do the same to you?"
Such were the lamentations of poor Fido, a young house-dog, whilst those
who were busy cropping his ears remained quite untouched by his piercing
and dolorous howls.
Fido believed himself to be ruined for life; but he very shortly found
that he was a gainer by the maiming. For being by nature disposed to
pilfer from his companions, it would come within his experience to have
many misadventures wherein his ears would be torn in a hundred places.
Aggressive dogs always have ragged ears. The less they have for other
dogs' teeth to fasten upon the better.
When one has but a single weak place to defend, one protects it against
an onset. Witness Master Fido armed with a spiked collar, and having no
more ears to catch hold of than are on my hand. Even a wolf would not
have known where to take him.