Indeed. Even though these JS libraries have become Phat and Heavy, they are specifically designed to “abstract away” the numerous browser- and browser-version specific bits, like this very one. jQuery is the dominant one out there right now, but it’s not the only one.
Some, such as Prototype.js, are quite a bit smaller. (I humbly stand corrected ...) However, the bottom line is ... don’t even try to ride this pony bareback. Use a saddle.