In Pudd'nhead Wilson, by Mark Twain, the character David Wilson makes a remark that results in the townspeople writing him off as a "pudd'nhead".
He had just made the acquaintance of a group of citizens when an invisible dog began to yelp and snarl and howl and make himself very comprehensively disagreeable, whereupon young Wilson said, much as one who is thinking aloud--
"I wish I owned half of that dog."
"Why?" somebody asked.
"Because I would kill my half."
Like the townspeople, I am rather literal minded and can't really understand what the character is getting at. Can someone explain?