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A horse and a man, above, below,
One has a plan but both must go,
Mile after mile, above, beneath,
One has a smile and one has teeth,
Though the man above might say hello,
Expect no love from the beast below.

This was the version recited by the girl in the vator. Amy Pond later recited a more positive revision of this poem:

In bed above, we're deep asleep,
While greater love lies further deep.
This dream must end, the world must know,
We all depend on the beast below.

We know that the first version is wrong because the beast below was nice after all. But still, what does it mean?

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    I think this will probably be opinion based.... But honestly I think this poem implies the relationship between a beast and a man.... A horse is used by man to move around, the man has a plan on where it travels but both go together when traveling... The man is capable of smiling and the horse who's a beast just has teeth they can't smile... Only the man is capable of emotions and talking but the horse is seemingly incapable of love. Mar 2, 2018 at 13:42
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    The first poem is summing up pretty much everything about a master and an animal who is forced to serve. That it later turns out to be wrong in this case doesn't mean it isn't true.
    – Radhil
    Mar 2, 2018 at 13:43
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    To me, the first one's warning us that, yes, master/servant (whether that servant is an intelligent being or not) may seem like they're working together, it's a fundamentally unequal relationship and the 'beast below' owes you nothing, particularly if the beast is ill-treated. The second is kind of a nicer reflection, that hey, we may be enjoying life but never forget who's doing the work to make that possible, even if it might be given willingly. Mar 2, 2018 at 13:57
  • There is another version of this poem in "Demon's Run"
    – Edelk
    Mar 2, 2018 at 15:27

2 Answers 2

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1) Animals are still animals, and while we ascribe them human emotions, they are animals, and we must remember that.

That's a very pragmatic, even pessimistic view of the relationship of humanity with domesticated animals. Dogs can go game, even the most tame horse may buck, and cattle, the standard metaphor for "an easily led animal" can stampede. The mindset is "this animal can still be dangerous, and must be controlled". That is the mindset that those running Starship UK want its passengers to have, in case they ever find out about the titular beast.

2) The relationship of the Beast and its passengers is far different from that of a beast of burden, and it is time Starship UK knew that.

The assumption made by the Earthers upon the arrival of the Star Whales was "Oh, how lucky, these dumb animals are passing by just as we need them, let's get them hooked up with a bridle and set up a whip, as we have done with oxen and horses since time immemorial" The Beast and its situation was kept a secret because however necessary the relationship was, people might see it as unnecessarily cruel, hence the forced "choice" between dissension and acceptance. But once the true relationship was discovered, the need for secrecy changed - now the Beast could be seen as a benevolent friend (albeit one treated horribly for decades, maybe centuries) and not, essentially, a slave that needed controlling.

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The beast is our Planet, and we must treat it well. Most people don't realise that our Planet is alive and we live off of it, like fleas on a dog. The beast in the episode is an allegory for the planet we live on as it carries us through space and through our lives.

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