This is the main attraction. This was the story that first stopped me in my tracks taken from that page of The Graphic published that August Saturday 119 years ago. I was distracted by so many other stories on that page and that led me to share with you the pheasant plucking book, the death of the Civil War Songmeister partner of the blind queen of gospel and the London Zoo wringing its paws over whether they should let the public in. You don’t know about the past until you travel down the culs de sac of social history such as this.
This is another animal related yarn and shows how far we have moved from the Victorian ideas of right and wrong to the natural world. Then it was dominion over the beasts of the field, or in this case the veldt. Pastimes of the rich and famous have changed too. The equivalent today? Even forty years ago it might be a movie star with her pet leopard. Now it’s a Bieberkin brat of the oligarchary crashing his Porsche and getting another?
Was this zebra équipe cruel? Probably. Worse than tigers in cages, then or now? Worse than the millions of working horses and donkeys condemned to a life dragging too heavy loads for year after year until they collapsed in the street? Me, I don’t have a view, but one thing’s for sure, this must have been a sight for the locals that summer when the honorable Walter’s carriage clip-clopped into the arena at the Tring Agricultual Show.