Sunday, April 3, 2011
Here I go again. I’m up on my sturdy soap box decrying frivolous and fraudulent law suits once more. When are we going to put a stop to what has increasingly become a common-place occurence?
What, you might ask, has raised my hackles this time? Well, I’ll tell you. I read in the newspaper that a man has filed a lawsuit against a couple who own a stallion. It seems the plaintiff saw a horse in a paddock on the side of the road, and he decided it behooved him (punny, I know...) to take some food to this horse. For the record (and I say that with great jurisprudence) this horse did not belong to the plaintiff, and the defendants have stated that they did not give the plaintiff permission to feed their animal.
I’m sure the plaintiff started out with good intentions. Most of us like the feeling of companionship that comes from hand-feeding an animal... it's a “communing with nature” ideal. Maybe the man was a cowboy-wannabe, or perhaps he’d had a favorite pony in his youth and seeing the stallion brought back fond memories. Whatever the reason, the man made a conscious decision to stop and feed this horse.
Unfortunately for him, the decision wasn’t a wise one. You’ve probably heard the expression “bite the hand that feeds you.” Well, the stallion involved in the lawsuit had a different take on that saying. He “bit off part of the ear attached to the head of the man with the hand who fed him.” And apparently, the man took exception to that action.
It is believed that the stallion, being a stallion, was enraged by the man’s scent of testosterone and that’s what caused the animal’s agression. I’m not sure, really, what testosterone smells like. I don’t think I want to know, but our virile and noble stallion most definitely recognized the odor. Personally, I think the plaintiff should count himself lucky that his ear smelled more like testosterone than any of his other appendages did, and walk away from the episode feeling lucky that he got off as lightly as he did. He should humbly take this as “a lesson learned.” There is a reason we mothers are constantly harping at our little boys to “go wash those ears!” We’re trying to protect them from painful lessons in the future.
No matter how hard I try to stay non-political (what?????) I simply have to assert my opinion, here. You all know how I feel about how our court system is misused and abused by people suing others over things they shouldn’t be suing for.
“Try having some personal responsibility!” I inwardly scream.
“Whatever happened to the word ACCIDENT?” I silently protest.
“Get a real job,” I mutter to myself.
I, too, have been injured by a horse. More than one, actually--now that I think about it. When you hang around animals, especially big ones, you’re bound to get hurt. But I’m recalling one time in particular. I was on my friend Patty’s mare, and she was plodding down the Princess Road, back in the days before it was plowed in the winter. In the woods off to one side, a skidder started up, spooking Deagon and causing her to rear. Once she’d dumped her burden in the snow, she high-tailed it for home, which was over the other side of the hill at Deer Farm Camps. My hip and back were injured in the fall, and I can still feel the effects of that spill, thirty years later.
If I’d reacted the way this plaintiff has, I would have sued. Darn tooting! After all, I should have been warned in advance that Deagon was a big animal and that she could respond to unexpected stimuli in unanticipated ways. No doubt about it-- I should have taken those people for everything I could get.
Don’t you think?
So, yeah... I think the horse-feeding, testosterone-exuding, lawsuit-bringing guy ought to reconsider his actions. I think he should apologize for feeding an animal that didn’t belong to him. He should drop the suit and make amends to the horse’s owners for dragging their names into the public lime-light. He should take responsibility for his own actions, and chalk the incident up as one of life’s unique experiences-- a really good story he can tell his grandkids, one day.
And... I think he should shower regularly, and wear a hat.