Here, fella: Time to come in!

If a proposed new ordinance is passed by the town council this week, Fjell, Norway, ought to become a promising market for dog muzzles. Dog muzzles? Well, yes. Reports from the scene indicate that its 300 or so residents are fed up to here with the barking of canines, especially after dark. Despite the rural setting, unhurried pace, and crisp, fresh air, folks there were finding it difficult to sleep because of the din. So the local forestry agent came up with a solution: a curfew. It would mandate that no dog be left outdoors after 9:59:59 p.m. Violators, or, rather, their owners, would be subject to fines. At first, agent Erik Schult told journalists, the councilors thought his idea was "an April Fools' joke." But he predicts they will "surely approve" it, and if an opinion poll taken by the local newspaper is any indication of its prospects, 55 percent of the respondents favored passage. Once the curfew takes effect - if it does - leashing up Fido, Spot, or Patches for a turn around the neighborhood after 10 o'clock still will be permissible . But, by golly, the animal had better not sound off if it spots a cat or perhaps a burglar skulking about. Presumably, enforcement will become the responsibility of the police department.

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