The child likes dogs. The child is not afraid of dogs. The child crosses the street saying woof woof. The Doberman strains at the chain. The chain strains at the stake. The child says woof woof. The stake pulls free. The Doberman mauls the child.
The doctor says stitches, skin grafts. The doctor says the plastic surgeons are good, the physical therapists are first rate, ugly is as ugly does, the child can learn to write with three fingers.
The lawyer says six figures, maybe seven. The lawyer says courage, fortitude. Are you prepared to do what needs done?
The mother says I’d like to kill the bastards. The father says soak ’em, ruin ’em, ruin ’em.
The defendant says the dog was on a chain. The defendant says the child taunted the dog. The defendant says I love the dog.
The defense rests. The plaintiffs, the plaintiffs. The television waits at the courthouse steps. What will the money mean to you? The dog is dead, the dog is dead, that’s all I care about, the mother says.
Later, the defendant pounds her fists against a one-way mirror. Please, please don’t take the dog. Please, please, let me stroke the dog. Please, please, let me see the needle. I love that dog. His name is Sal. Nobody raped me anymore since I got that dog.