Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lady Hornby's Dog

Francis Buckland, Curiosities of Natural History, Third Series (London: Richard Bentley And Son, 1882), pp. 283-4.

Ladies have, I believe, as a rule, a better chance than gentlemen of taming wild animals, as the following will prove. My excellent and kind-hearted friend, the late lamented Lady Hornby, told me that she once expressed a wish, when residing at Constantinople, to try if she could tame a wild Turkish street dog, and asked some gentlemen to catch her one. They accordingly went out in pursuit, and in due course of time brought home their capture alive, half dead with fear, and as savage as possible.

The poor hunted thing immediately ran for protection to Lady Hornby, and would not quit her side. She tied it up in the stable, and by taking to it and feeding it herself, managed to make it quite tame. One day she was showing her pet to a gentleman who knows a good deal about animals.

When he saw it he said, "Why, Lady Hornby, what have you got here?"

"Oh, it's my tame street dog," was the answer.

"It's no street dog at all," said —; "it's a common brute of a wild jackal."

"Anyhow," said the lady, "dog or jackal, I have tamed him now, and don't mean to part with him," — a plain proof to all that female influence can tame the most ferocious of animals.