"Thank you for your heartbreaking article about the horses of Ireland. I can't help but wonder what moved you to write it, when there are so many other points of darkness you might have chosen to illuminate with your words."
And yes, Virginia, it seems reporters sometimes care what readers think, even when they happen to be the London Bureau Chief. He wrote back:
"I saw the horses on that hill from a distance, against that twilight sky, and thought that it was a tragic metaphor for all that has gone in Ireland, for the people AND the horses. And, like all the normal, well-adjusted people I know, I am an animal lover, and feel that we humans owe, before God or Providence, a duty to look after them. I thought writing about them was the least I could do. I shall never forget the skewbald nuzzling her nose against my side in the Arctic wind, as if looking to me as the last court of appeal."