The Fan Hitch Volume 5, Number 2, March 2003

Newsletter of the Inuit Sled Dog

Table of Contents

Editorial: The Blind Men and the Elephant
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The Return
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Dogs in Greenland
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The Contribution of Dogs to Exploration in Antarctica
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Page from the Behaviour Notebook: Raising Raven
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Antarctic Sketches
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Physiology of Sledge Dogs
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The Qitdlarssuaq Chronicles, Part 2
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News Briefs:
Thesis update
Blue Eye update
Mailbag
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Product Review: DirectStop®
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Book Review: Carved from the Land
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Tip for the Trail: Re-lining Water Jug Caps
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IMHO: Preservation vs. Saving


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              Editor: Sue Hamilton
              Webmaster: Mark Hamilton
The Fan Hitch Website and Publications of the Inuit Sled Dog– the quarterly Journal (retired in 2018) and PostScript – are dedicated to the aboriginal landrace traditional Inuit Sled Dog as well as related Inuit culture and traditions. 

PostScript is published intermittently as material becomes available. Online access is free at: http://thefanhitch.org  PostScript welcomes your letters, stories, comments and The editorial staff reserves the right to edit submissions used for publication.

Contents of The Fan Hitch Website and its publications  are protected by international copyright laws. No photo, drawing or text may be reproduced in any form without written consent. Webmasters please note: written consent is necessary before linking this site to yours! Please forward requests to Sue Hamilton, 55 Town Line Rd., Harwinton, Connecticut  06791, USA or mail@thefanhitch.org
From the Editor.....

Jainism and Buddhism. Udana 68-69:
Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant

(original version from the Buddhist canon)

A number of disciples went to the Buddha and said, "Sir, there are living here in Savatthi many wandering hermits and scholars who indulge in constant dispute, some saying that the world is infinite and eternal and others that it is finite and not eternal, some saying that the soul dies with the body and others that it lives on forever, and so forth. What, Sir, would you say concerning them?" 

The Buddha answered, "Once upon a time there was a certain raja who called to his servant and said, 'Come, good fellow, go and gather together in one place all the men of Savatthi who were born blind... and show them an elephant.' 'Very good, sir,' replied the servant, and he did as he was told. He said to the blind men assembled there, 'Here is an elephant,' and to one man he presented the head of the elephant, to another its ears, to another a tusk, to another the trunk, the foot, back, tail, and tuft of the tail, saying to each one that that was the elephant. 

"When the blind men had felt the elephant, the raja went to each of them and said to each, 'Well, blind man, have you seen the elephant? Tell me, what sort of thing is an elephant?' 

"Thereupon the men who were presented with the head answered, 'Sir, an elephant is like a pot.' And the men who had observed the ear replied, 'An elephant is like a winnowing basket.' Those who had been presented with a tusk said it was a ploughshare. Those who knew only the trunk said it was a plough; others said the body was a grainery; the foot, a pillar; the back, a mortar; the tail, a pestle, the tuft of the tail, a brush. 

"Then they began to quarrel, shouting, 'Yes it is!' 'No, it is not!' 'An elephant is not that!' 'Yes, it's like that!' and so on, till they came to blows over the matter.

"Brethren," the raja was delighted with the scene,

"Just so are these preachers and scholars holding various views blind and unseeing.... In their ignorance they are by nature quarrelsome, wrangling, and disputatious, each maintaining reality is thus and thus." 

Then the Exalted One rendered this meaning by uttering this verse of uplift, 

                        O how they cling and wrangle, some who claim 
                           For preacher and monk the honored name! 
                           For, quarreling, each to his view they cling. 
                           Such folk see only one side of a thing.

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Here's hoping that The Fan Hitch clears up a few things about what the Inuit Sled Dog is …and is not. 

Wishing you smooth ice and narrow leads. And be careful when mushing behind those elephants!
 

                                                       Sue

 

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