The Fly and the Dog
I do not believe that we can find the type of perfectly free creature anywhere other than in the common fly of our houses. Not only free, but brave, and irreverent to a point where I do not believe that any republican of the human species could, by any philosophical theory, rise. There is no politeness in her; she does not worry whether it is a king she is persecuting or a boor, and in each step of her rapid mechanical march, and in each pause of her daring investigation, there is the single and same expression of perfect egotism, total independence and self-confidence, and the conviction that the world was created for flies. Strike it with your hand and, for it, the mechanical fact and the external aspect of the operation is what would be, for you, a field of red earth, ten feet thick, suddenly rising from the ground in a massive heap, swinging in the air above you for a second and falling with a crash while aiming for a goal. This is the external aspect of the thing; but the internal image she has of it, in her wit, is that of a completely banal and unimportant incident, one of the transitory conditions of her active life. She moves away from the path your hand follows and comes back to rest on her back. You cannot frighten her, nor govern her, nor persuade her, nor convince her.
She has her own opinion on all things, an opinion not usually unreasonable, if we consider her own end, and she does not ask you for yours. She has nothing to do, no tyrannical instinct to follow. The earthworm has its excavations, the bee has its collection and its building, the spider its fine network, the ant its treasure and its accounts. All are relatively slaves or people of small trades. But your fly, free in the air, free in the room, Black Incarnation of Caprice, walks, explores, flutters, flirts, stuffs itself, as it pleases, with richly varied foods.
For servitude, on the contrary, the most painful type can be provided to you by the guard dog, perhaps by yours, certainly by mine. The weather is wonderful, but I have to write this, and I can't go out with him. He is chained in the yard, because I don't like dogs in apartments and the gardener doesn't like them in the garden. He has no book, nothing to distract him but his sad thoughts and a lot of these libertarian flies that he suddenly catches without any success. If he has some obscure hope that I will take him outside with me, he is sadly disappointed from hour to hour, or, what is worse, plunged into gloomy despair by a "no!" » authoritarian that he understands only too well. His loyalty only determines his destiny; If he did not keep watch for me, he would be sent away and go hunting with some happier master. But he keeps and he is wise and faithful and miserable and his superior animal intelligence only gives him these faculties of envy, of admiring, of suffering, of desiring and of loving, which make his captivity more bitter. However, between the two, which would you prefer to be? the guard dog or the fly?

The Fly and the Dog by Jon Ruskin