Derk makes me uneasy

Robyn Starkey rohina at
Thu May 29 18:01:23 EDT 2003

>Others don't: flying horses, geese, pigeons.  These creatures have the 
>power of
>speech, and even the power of reason (as witness Filbert's comments on why the
>standards of teaching have fallen so low).  But these seem to be completely
>slaves to the humans.  Derk treats the horses and his pigeons very well, but
>there is no question of their being anything other than his slaves.  The geese
>are free, but only because they can escape.  Flying horses he is happy to give
>away to Elves...

I think in that case it was only with the agreement of the horse, who was 
quite charmed by the Elves.

I must say I didn't quite read this as you did. The animals all seem to 
have an attachment to Derk (did he breed that in? interesting question), 
and they also have a range of characteristics which may be part of their 
natures as animals before he started tinkering. Eg the geese are contrary. 
I think a large part of the way Derk treats the animals has to do with the 
idea that he sees them all as children. The pigeons all look to Derk for 
protection, too when they are injured, so I don't know about the slavery 
thing there - why don't they fly away?

As far as I can see, he interacts with most of them like that - so the 
slavery thing is not perhaps pointing quite at the issue. I mean, I make my 
daughter do stuff, and expect her to obey me and wouldn't want her to 
rebel. To me the question is more about how he infantilises his creations, 
even when they are mature and ought to be independent. Some parents of 
plain humans are also like this, and clearly it is easy to see the animals 
as not intellectually mature enough to make their own decisions. It would 
be interesting to see how Derk treats those of his children who have gone 
off and got married...

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