James Herriot is one of my favourite writers, I was re-reading his book, Dog Stories. It is a collection of delightful stories, but some are very sad. They reflect the selfish, unfeeling cruelty of human beings. One such story is ‘Abandoned’. It is about those people who just abandon their dogs when they have had enough of them. They break the trust that their pets have in them. A friend has started an organization which looks after abandoned pets and finds other homes for them. She says that animals which have always lived on the streets can look after themselves; but pets, when abandoned, become helpless. This makes the action of the owners unforgivable.
As I was reading this I remembered a horrifying incident which took place here many months ago. A little, blind, mentally-challenged girl was abandoned in the Children’s ward of the local hospital by the parents. They left a note which said that they were too poor to look after their disabled daughter. Just imagine the plight of the girl, she would have been so helpless, I heard that she is in an orphanage now. Human nature never changes because I remember when my son was born, we heard about a baby girl whose mother had walked out leaving the baby in the hospital. This was in 1983. I wonder what happened to the girl; how life has treated her; we will never know.
In a book by Jennifer Worth, which I read recently, she writes that young nurses were horrified by the mysterious deaths of new born babies in families living in abject poverty. There was no birth control then, and it was suspected that the infants had been killed by their parents or close kin.
Then a very old nun who had been with the people in East End, London most of her life says, “Everything looks so different from varying angles. We see things one way and assume it is correct. But then move the light just a fraction and you see things quite differently.”