1 JANUARY 1927, Page 17


Which is the most sagacious of beasts is an old controversy that found its way even into the Latin grammars. But the subject is not yet worked out to a conclusion. A new point was put to me the other day by a great lover and student of horses. Many biologists maintain that the horse is stupid as animals go. They even argue that the cloven hoof always indicates more brain than the solid. However that may be, the horse has not been the intimate friend of man through all those centuries for nothing. Whatever he does not know, he knows his friends ; and you do not discover how clever he is—such is the new argument—till he is ill. A particular and very valuable horse who recently fell very ill lies down when the vet. enters his stable, turns his head and looks intently at the region where the pain is. He diagnoses as well as indicates his own pain, and most horses are excellent and intelligent patients. No other animal is quite so sure that his master will help him if he can and that he can. If faith is a symptom of intelligence, then the horse is among the most intelligent. * * *