11 NOVEMBER 1995, Page 58


Horrible, that small calf they dragged today To the abattoir, who struggled and pulled away And tried to lick the raindrops trickling down The grey walls of the little wretched town.

Dear God, how gentle his air, and sweet and mild, Whose only thought was grass in the friendly field.

Dear God, good in your mysteries, Say you find a forgiveness for all this: Say that in your gold Paradise there will Be no dragging of small calves to the kill But we be better and in hours Garland their young springing horns with flowers!

Ah God! at the ending of his harmless life Keep small his pain at the entering of the knife!

Francis Jammes, 1888