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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Leon, parts 4416 - 4419

  4416. All the myriad works in that format were destroyed in iconoclastic rampages of the 7th and 8th centuries.

 4417. The record of those destructive times was well recorded in the Annals of Augustus the Lame. In those annals there are minute descriptions of those sculptures, and dated and cataloged accounts of their destruction.

 4418. Unfortunately the annals of Augustus the Lame were destroyed in the 9th century, but thanks be to the birds and their infallible memory, we have an account of those times, albeit with some slight lacuna.

4419. Now that we have established the veracity of the existence of Rufus,  Constantine’s dog, we need to examine how it was that he single-handedly brought the tribe of ancient canines into the fold of the Universal church.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Leon, parts 4412- 4415

 4412. Added support was needed at the knees of the sculptures when they found that freestanding dog-less marble sculpture tended to break off just below the knees, even in a slight breeze. 

 4413. The fragility of stone sculpture below the knees has been known from time immemorial but the traditional method to deal with this fault was to lean the leg against a tree limb, or something like that.

 4414. The fact that Constantine was seen so often leaning his leg against a dog should provide proof positive that there was such a supporting dog, because otherwise a tree limb or some other animal might have been used such as a lion to denote strength or kingship.

4415. I know that there are many scholars that point out that there is not a single marble sculpture in existence that shows Constantine standing next to a dog, but that proves nothing at all.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Leon, parts 4408 - 4411

 4408. The conversion of the dogs of Rome from Paganism to Christianity happened precisely when you would guess, the date being 325 AD. 

 4409. It was about that time the Constantine the Great ordered the toleration of the Christian sect at the Council of Nicea. Up until that time, as you know, they had been fed to the lions in the amphitheaters of the empire.

 4410. Constantine had a dog named Rufus, a very famous and influential dog, know to everyone from the frequent statues of the emperor where his dog is always depicted standing next to the Emperor leaning his head against his knee. 

4411. No attention should be paid to those who claim that there was no such dog named Rufus, and that Rufus was only put into the sculptures because the Emperor’s legs were skinny. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Leon, parts 4404 - 4407

 4404. For hundreds of years the dogs ran the city. It was during that time that the city of Rome became famous all over the known world. First of all, dogs are naturally democratic and are adept at working in a group to solve problems.

 4405. Cats, on the other hand, are so independent and self--centered that they are incapable of united action, and it is united action that creates a working metropolis.

 4406. How it was that the cats came to dominate the city of Rome, when the dogs had been in control for hundreds of years is an important question, and many theories have been advanced.

4407. Some think the dogs were wiped out by an illness that affected them and not the cats, but others think it was the tendency of the dogs to neglect their ancient religious practices. Everyone knows that all dogs at the present time are Christian, but that was not always the case.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Leon, parts 4400 - 4403

 4400. Leon thought about this question for a while and then said. “It is a big place full of cats, it is where the cats live and it is a very large place full of old falling down stone buildings. 

 4401. The cats run everything and so nothing ever gets done there. But to give you an idea what it is like, you just have to picture one of those villages whose folk come out in the evenings to watch our dogfights.

 4402. If it were possible to push thousand of those villages together at the same time, and in such a big mass that you could never walk from one end of it to another, then you would have the same thing as the city of Rome.

 4403. At one time dogs ran the city and then it was a different matter. Everything was perfect. The streets were clean, all the sewers worked, the fountains, fed by the aqueducts, brought clean water everywhere, and so all the dog bowls were full of fresh water at all times.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Leon, parts 4396 - 4399

 4396. He hopes the victim will be able to understand that, although he must kill him, in his heart he feels no malice, and even would wish him well, if such a wish was not absurd. 

 4397. So, even though Otis almost ended the life of Leon, they fell to talking about various things of interest to dogs and roosters, but at one point the Rooster said, “Leon do you happen to know what Rome is.”

 4398. “Yes,” replied Leon, “it is a city some distance from here, on the other side of the Alps. I have been taken there on numerous occasions for the fights.”

 4399. “Alright then,” said Remo, “could you please tell us what a city is, we would very much like to know?”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Leon, parts 4392 - 4395

 4392. He was not scheduled to fight that night because he was recovering from an injury from a few nights previous. A cut had been stitched up that ran diagonally across his face, and passed right between his eyes. 

 4393. It was going to leave a vivid scar that was destined to make him look implacably vengeful. The stitches, red and raw, made him look terrifying even if he was sound asleep. 

 4394. Leon was a deadly dog in the ring, and it was only Otis that had ever escaped from his jaws, but all the rest of the time he was as gentle as a lamb. For years he had suffered from remorse and guilt because of all the suffering he had been forced to inflict. 

4395. In his old age he had become reconciled to his fate. He was like a friendly executioner standing next to the guillotine and adjusting the levers. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dog Astronomy, parts 4388 - 4391

 4388. For the time being the question of how to get to Rome was forgotten and the three of them fell to talking about their experiences in the dog-fighting ring. For them the thing was quite comical, but they were like soldiers who laugh at the tragedies of war. 

 4389. The subject of Leon came up. Leon was the older gladiator dog that Otis had nearly killed during his last combat in the ring. They wondered what had become of him, and their curiosity became so great that they decided to go in search of him, and see how he was getting on.

 4390. All three of them thought that by now Leon would be dead, but they did not say so. As for finding Leon, that was a lot simpler than finding Rome, his location could be easily tracked from the remaining scent in the area.

  4391. Otis provided the necessary information for them and they set out in search of the nearest dog-fighting pit. They found it the next evening and, to their surprise and satisfaction they found Leon to be about as well and in good spirits as an old gladiator dog could manage to be under the circumstances.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Dog Astrology, parts 4384 - 4387

 4384. It is quite easy to explain the difference in their ideas about how the sun sets, it has to do, as I said before, with the difference in where they were in the habit of going to sleep at night. 

 4385. Remo had been going to bed in the same place, in the same way since he was born, and the wolf had been going to sleep in a different place and in a different way since he was born. 

 4386. This being so, Otis saw a different view of the sky every night, if he even bothered to have a look at the sky. And Remo saw the same piece of the sky every night, which he could not help but notice.

4387. It is easy to understand their disagreements then, since they had such contrary experiences leading up to the point where they became companions on the road.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Dog Astronomy, parts 4380 - 4383

 4380. Beyond that miniature landscape in Remo’s mind there is nothing, nothing at all. Not monsters, not foreign lands with fabulous beasts, not a nameless void, but simply nothingness beyond the eternal boundary of the beautiful finite world as perfect as a cut ruby.

 4381. But Remo suddenly had to accept that the world was not like a Renaissance painting of the mind. He had wandered too far away from home, and now he was lost. He had entered another realm, a realm in which the sun did not set where it was supposed to set, and therefore, he could put his trust in nothing.   

4382. Remo, Otis and the Rooster were not about to figure out if the things Remo had said about the setting of the sun were true or false. Remo know he was correct, but only about his own backyard. As for the rest of the world, he had no idea what strange laws governed things.

  4383. He grew silent, felt embarrassed, and accepted his place in the trio as the least of the members, even though the fact was, he was the one who knew the most.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Dog Astronomy, parts 4376 - 4379

4376. Perhaps he might view azure distant hills dotted with nicely trimmed symmetrical trees bordering winding roads that climb in and out of cultivated fields.

 4377. Here and there one might see farmers with their pruning hooks trimming fruit trees laden with ripe fruit, and down a path comes a friar on a donkey, perused by laughing children. 

 4378. The sun’s light adorns everything in the same gentle way, always, coming down from the upper left hand corner.

4379. Such then is the entire world, the entire solar system, and the entire cosmos, circumscribed and formulated like a miniature stage set belonging to a healthy, happy child of an aristocratic family.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Dog Astronomy, parts 4372 - 4375

4372. Even so, Remo fully expected that when he stood at the top of a tall hill he would be able to see his Mistresses’ house, her garden, the pine tree and the wheat field.

 4373. He also expected that he would be able to watch the sun set in the wheat field, just like when he was at home going to sleep in his cozy bed.

4374. What a terrible shock, Remo was shaken to the depths of his little soul. It is true that he had suffered from homesickness every day to a degree, and he had struggled to conceal his distress from his traveling companions.   

4375. All the while, in his mind was consoled by the pleasant notion that the world was like a beautiful and symmetrical Renaissance painting.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dog Astronomy, parts 4368 - 4371

 4368. Birds do not experiment, because experimentation requires imagination. Birds, having no imagination, are not scientific, and since they are not scientific, they have difficulty with mathematical ideas, and things like physics, and geometry.

 4369. You may remember that recently some birds were unable to foresee the outcome of a tic-tac-toe game. This then is perhaps an explanation of the source of their problems.

 4370. But now we return to Remo who had walked up to a high lookout spot with the Rooster, and Otis with the intention of showing them some interesting facts about how the sun sets in the evening. And now we must point out the simplicity of Remo’s worldview.

 4371. Even though the three of them had been traveling around the countryside for many days, and even though in the evening they had gone to sleep in all types of various locals, wooded, mountainous, pastoral and Arcadian…