What The Statute Did Not Say
When Benjamin F. Butler lived in Lowell, Massachusetts, he had a little black-and-tan (желтовато-коричневый) dog. One morning, as he was coming down the street, followed by the dog, a policeman stopped him and told him that, in accordance with an ordinance just passed, he must muzzle the dog.
‘Very well,’ said Butler.
Next morning he came along with the dog, and the policeman again told him of the muzzling ordinance and requested him to muzzle the dog.
‘All right,’ snorted Butler. ‘It is a fool ordinance, but I’ll muzzle him. Let me pass.’
Next morning the policeman was on the lookout. ‘I beg your pardon, General,’ he said, ‘but I must arrest you. Your dog is not muzzled.’
‘Not muzzled?’ shouted Butler. ‘Not muzzled? Well, look at him.’
The policeman looked more carefully at the dog and found a tiny, toy muzzle tied to its tail.
‘General,’ he expostulated, ‘this dog is not properly muzzled.’
‘Yes, he is, sir,’ asserted Butler. ‘Yes, he is. I have examined that idiotic statute and I find it says that every dog must wear a muzzle. It doesn’t say where the dog shall wear the muzzle, and I choose to decorate the tail of my dog instead of the head with this infernal contraption.’