The Hounds In Couples

Two Hounds were tied together to hunt. They started to bicker and fuss with each other. The Hunter made it clear they would have to get along to survive.

Mutual respect is necessary to matrimonial happiness.

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Hounds in Couples

Ernest Griset (1874)

A Huntsman was leading forth his hounds one morning to the chase, and had linked several of the young dogs in couples, to prevent them from following every scent, and hunting disorderly, as their own inclinations and fancy should direct them. Among others, it was the fate of Jowler and Vixen to be thus yoked together. Jowler and Vixen were both young and inexperienced, but had for some time been constant companions, and seemed to have entertained a great fondness for each other. They used to be perpetually playing together; and in any quarrel that happened, always took one another’s part. It might have been expected, therefore, that it would not have been disagreeable to them to be still more closely united. However, in fact it proved otherwise; they had not been long joined together before both parties were observed to express uneasiness at their present situation. Different inclinations and opposite wills began to discover and to exert themselves. If one chose to go this way, the other was as eager to take the contrary; if one was pressing forward, the other was sure to lag behind; Vixen pulled back Jowler, and Jowler dragged along Vixen; Jowler growled at Vixen, and Vixen snapped at Jowler; till at last it came to a downright quarrel between them, and Jowler treated Vixen in a very rough and ungenerous manner, without any regard to the inferiority of her strength or the tenderness of her sex. As they were thus continually vexing and tormenting each other, an old hound, who had observed all that had passed, came up to them, and thus reproved them: “What a couple of silly puppies you are, to be perpetually worrying yourselves at this rate! what hinders your going on peaceably and quietly together? Can not you compromise the matter between you, by each consulting the other’s inclination a little? When I was in the same circumstances with you, I soon found that thwarting my companion was only tormenting myself; and my yoke-fellow happily came into the same way of thinking.” Mutual compliances, forsooth, are necessary to matrimonial happiness.