The cruelty is often more active and direct. The literaturecontains reports on the many torments inflicted upon zooanimals: a shoebill dying of shock
after having its beaksmashed with a hammer; a moose stag losing its beard,
alongwith a strip of flesh the size of an index finger, to a visitor’sknife (this same moose was poisoned six months later); amonkey’s arm broken after reaching out for proffered nuts; adeer’s antlers attacked with a hacksaw; a
zebra stabbed with asword; and other assaults on other animals, with walking sticks,umbrellas, hairpins, knitting needles, scissors and whatnot, oftenwith an aim to taking an eye out or to injuring sexual parts.
Animals are also poisoned. And there are indecencies evenmore bizarre: onanists breaking a sweat on monkeys, ponies,birds; a religious freak who cut a snake’s head off; a derangedman who took to urinating in an elk’s mouth.
At Pondicherry we were relatively fortunate. We were sparedthe sadists who plied European and American zoos.
Nonetheless, our golden agouti vanished, stolen by someonewho ate it, Father suspected. Various birds – pheasants,peacocks, macaws – lost feathers to people greedy for theirbeauty. We caught a man with a knife climbing into
the penfor mouse deer; he said he was going to punish evil Ravana(who in the Ramayana took the form of a deer when hekidnapped Sita, Rama’s consort). Another man was nabbed inthe process of
Stannis Baratheon was proving to be a prickly guest, and a restless one. He had ridden down the kingsroad almost as far as Queenscrown, prowled through the empty hovels of Mole’s Town, inspected the ruined forts at
Queensgate and Oakenshield. Each night he walked atop the Wall with Lady Melisandre, and during the days he visited the stockades, picking captives out
for the red woman to question. He does not like to be balked. This would not be a pleasant morning, Jon feared.
From the armory came a clatter of shields and swords, as the latest lot of boys and raw recruits armed themselves. He could hear the voice of Iron Emmett
telling them to be quick about it. Cotter Pyke had not been pleased to lose him, but the young ranger had a gift for training men. He loves to fight,
teach his boys
to love it too.
Or so he hoped.