One of the dogs – let’s call her Molly – was unlike the others. She took her guarding duties seriously, but never went out on the hunt and generally kept herself apart from the rest of the pack. She did, however, become close friends with one of the pigs.
And then, late in the year when the winter was beginning to bite, the head man of the village decided it was time to kill one of the pigs for butchering and salting. The pig they chose was Molly’s friend.
Two of the men took hold of the animal and tethered it to a tree, and then they secured it at the rear while a third man despatched it with several blows from a heavy club. Molly had been watching, and Molly squealed. She continued to squeal loudly until one of the men kicked her roughly in the ribs, whereupon she retired behind a tree to shiver and whimper.
When the butcher shaved the dead animal and cut it into pieces for salting, the dogs crowded around eagerly, sometimes even fighting with each other to get the scraps of raw meat which the man threw in their direction. Molly remained behind the tree. She stopped whimpering eventually, but continued to shiver. And there she stayed, refusing to either eat or drink until she died one night covered by a fresh snowfall and with the blood in her veins frozen. Whether the men butchered her for eating I don’t know; the story doesn’t go that far. It doesn’t need to.
There’s no moral to the tale. It’s just one small example of how life and people sometimes treat those who are different a little cruelly.