The Dog That Bit People

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Having spent the week engaged in selfish pursuits, I wanted to do one good deed before midnight–less than half an hour from now.

I’ve chosen to share a story: Keith Olbermann reading James Thurber’s “The Dog That Bit People.”

I met Thurber in fifth grade, when all students, K-12, were herded into

English: Front of the James Thurber House, loc...

Front of the James Thurber House, located at 77 N. Jefferson Avenue in Columbus, Ohio. Built in 1873, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it is a part of a Register-listed historic district, the Jefferson Avenue Historic District. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

the auditorium to hear high school students practice for an upcoming Interscholastic League prose reading competition. Cullen Myers Dauchy read “The Night the Ghost Got In.”

By the end of the first page, I was in love.

Five years later, I had the pleasure of preparing Thurber’s “The Dog That Bit People” for the same competition. Although I never read it in contest–it fell under category C, and for three years in a row, the contest manager drew A or B–I loved the story of Muggs, who sank his teeth into everyone except Mrs. Thurber–and he went for her once–and in old age, walked through the house muttering like Hamlet following his father’s ghost.

I can’t share Thurber’s drawing of Muggs, so I’ve posted a photo from Wikipedia. This dog looks sweet, not grumpy, and Muggs was “a big, burly, choleric dog,” so for the full effect, you’ll have to imagine him with wearing a frown.

Muggs lived in the house on Jefferson Avenue, also pictured here.

Oops. I’ve missed the deadline.

But happy listening anyway.

The Dog That Bit People, Part 1

The Dog That Bit People, Part 2

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3 thoughts on “The Dog That Bit People

  1. I love James Thurber. His characters find themselves in the most bizarre circumstances, which is their normal. Over the last four years, I’ve been buying his collections. You’re lucky to have that memory of meeting him.

  2. :-D Choleric ….`Muggs is very like Butch, the dog who lived in my mother’s childhood house. He would let her suitors into the house, no problem, but just you try and slip them back out again….those teeth…

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