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Claim for Damages

Text of Poem

‘‘The man recovered from the bite,
the dog it was that died.’’ This
may be the end of the ballad but
it is not the end of the story.
The dog’s owner sued the man
bitten on the grounds that the dog
had the right to assume it was biting
healthy flesh and not a leg tainted
beyond a normal dog’s immunity.
The jury found for the plaintiff
and awarded him a million and a half
dollars in damages. The award broke down
into these items, $150.00 veterinary fee
and body disposal; $500,000.00 for
lack of companionship and protection;
$500,000.00 for mental anguish, worry
and loss of affection; $400,000.00
for libelous and defamatory remarks
by the defendant about both dog and
master and for accusing them of a
relationship which did not in fact
exist; $99,350.00 for the neglect
of the defendant to make
friendly overtures to the dog
and attempt to persuade him
not to bite. The defendant
appealed the verdict on the grounds
that in running away from the dog
he had no breath left to speak
kindly to it; that his pants and
sock were torn; that he was so upset
he could not resume conjugal relations
with his wife until the wound
healed; and the dog knowingly was
allowed to break the leash law.
The judge took the appeal under advisement.

First Line
"The man recovered from the bite,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Focus 15.95 (1984) 20.
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Bibliographic Notes

Is the journal Focus or Focus Midwest?