Once there was a man.
The man found himself in a new town and wanted to get to know the people.
So he went to the town square to see what he could see. He soon came upon an old man. The old man was whittling, turning a stick into a smaller stick.
On the ground near the old man’s feet sat a German shepherd. The dog bared his teeth and made a low noise from deep inside his solid frame as the new man approached.
The new man stopped and looked down at the dog with some trepidation. He asked the old man, “Does your dog bite?”
The old man kept whittling, and never looking up, replied, “Nope.”
The new man in town was relieved. He reached down to pet the animal. The dog lunged at him and would have taken a chunk of flesh out of the arm of a slower man. As it was, the new man recoiled quickly enough that his coat sleeve was the only casualty.
Examining the shredded coat, the new man said with emphasis on each word, “I thought you said your dog doesn’t bite.”
The old man stopped his whittling. He looked up for the first time, wearing a toothless, wizened grin.
The old man said with just as much emphasis on each word, “That’s what I said. My dog doesn’t bite,” and returned to his whittling.
Taken aback, the new man motioned to his torn coat and said, “Well?”
The old man stopped whittling again, looked up, motioned to the dog with his knife, and said, “That ain’t my dog.”
The moral of the story: Ask the right questions.