This is the third story about a child's death that I've read today, and the most thought-provoking. What does it take to encounter that dark door in the hallways of one's mind and push it open? Novakovich's story of human fragility and desperation is both brave and repulsive.
A powerful story. I thought maybe the tragedy of this child's death was similar to more contemporary situations where the U.S. pharmaceutical companies abuse other populations because they cannot experiment on Americans. Then I read about the many Americans who died during the very early polio trials. It is easy to forget how terrifying polio was and how people were willing to sign up for anything that might take that terror away. Of course, this family did not seem to think they were taking on risk with this vaccine.
Thank you for such a moving story. What a bright, delightful child she was. She was fortunate to have a father who cared so much and stayed with her. I'm glad he kept the dog.
A profound story that captures one's empathy right off, assuming one is given in this way to begin with. The crude doctor conjured one of my favorite Chekhov stories, wherein it was related that professionals over time take on callous attitudes, like those who slaughter animals in the backyard without noticing the blood. Surely, a doctor as heartless as this one towards a beautiful child, much less any human, could never have had a heart to begin with. The building of a doghouse, as well as the the dog itself, was beautiful irony we sometimes only see in classical literature. This is a story that will be close to my heart for a very long, long time. Last, I found the missing dialogue punctuation and formatting interesting. Once or twice I found myself lost, but in reverse leap-frog fashion was able to determine the speaker.