She has no discrimination. She takes to all the animals--all
of them! She thinks they are all treasures, every new one is welcome. When
the brontosaurus came striding into camp, she regarded it as an acquisition,
I considered it a calamity; that is a good sample of the lack of harmony
that prevails in our views of things. She wanted to domesticate it, I wanted
to make it a present of the homestead and move out. She believed it could
be tamed by kind treatment and would be a good pet; I said a pet twenty-one
feet high and eighty-four feet long would be no proper thing to have about
the place, because, even with the best intentions and without meaning any
harm, it could sit down on the house and mash it, for any one could see
by the look of its eye that it was absent-minded. Still, her heart was set
upon having that monster, and she couldn't give it up. She thought we could
start a dairy with it, and wanted me to help milk it; but I wouldn't; it
was too risky. The sex wasn't right, and we hadn't any ladder anyway. Then
she wanted to ride it, and look at the scenery. Thirty or forty feet of
its tail was lying on the ground, like a fallen tree, and she thought she
could climb it, but she was mistaken; when she got to the steep place it
was too slick and down she came, and would have hurt herself but for me.
Was she satisfied now? No. Nothing ever satisfies her but demonstration;
untested theories are not in her line, and she won't have them. It is the
right spirit, I concede it; it attracts me; I feel the influence of it;
if I were with her more I think I should take it up myself. Well, she had
one theory remaining about this colossus: she thought that if we could tame
it and make him friendly we could stand in the river and use him for a bridge.
It turned out that he was already plenty tame enough--at least as far as
she was concerned--so she tried her theory, but it failed: every time she
got him properly placed in the river and went ashore to cross over him,
he came out and followed her around like a pet mountain. Like the other
animals. They all do that.
Credits: Reprinted from Extracts From Adam's Diary. Mark Twain.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1904.
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