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Rated: E · Fiction · Comedy · #2189495
A boy discovers he can communicate with animals.
Written for the Dialogue 500 prompt: You're like Dolittle, you can talk to animals.

“Hey, boy. It stopped raining. Want to go for a walk?”


“I’ll take that as ‘yes’.”

“Why would you do that? I didn’t say ’yes’. If I had meant ‘yes’, I would have said ’arf’.”

What? Who said that? Jimmy. Did you plant a speaker on Bosco?”

“Jimmy’s over at Freddy’s house.”

“Wait a minute. Are you actually talking?”

“Goodness, Bob. Maybe your brother was right. You are smarter than you look.”

“This is crazy. Dogs can’t talk.”

“All evidence to the contrary.”

“But how?”

“Well, as near as I can explain it, I open my mouth and say what’s on my mind. Isn’t that how humans talk?”

“But you’re a dog.”

“Your point being?”

“How did you learn to talk? By listening to us humans?”

“No. I’m not speaking in human language. You’re speaking in dog.”

“Well, it sounds like human to me. Until just now, all I’ve ever heard from you are sounds. There are human words to describe those sounds, like ’arf’ and ’woof’, and sometimes ’grrr’, but human language has nouns, and verbs, and a lot of other forms.”

“Those sounds you call ‘arf’ and ‘woof’ and sometimes ‘grrr’ aren’t as simple as you’re presenting them. Well, maybe ‘grrr’ is, but most other dog sounds have several forms, each with a specific meaning. It all depends on factors like pitch, volume, and length. Take what you hear as 'woof’, for example. If it’s short and soft, it means one thing. Drawn out, another. And you seem to have figured it all out.

“But how?”

“Probably because we spend so much time together.”

“Hey, maybe I can understand Whiskers, too. Whiskers. Say something. Here, kitty kitty. C’mon, girl, let’s have a conversation. Tell me something more than ’meow’.”

“Like what?”

Wow. It works with you, too.”

“Wow, yourself. And when did you learn to speak cat?”

“Just now, I think. And I can speak dog, too.”

“Why would anyone want to?”

That’s not nice. You should tell Bosco you’re sorry.”

“How can I do that? I don’t speak dog, and I’m guessing he doesn’t speak cat, because we’ve never had a conversation.”

“Have you ever tried?”

“Why would I? He’s a dog.”

“Well, aren’t there times when you’d like to tell him to stay away from your food dish, or maybe ask him not to bark so loudly when the mailman comes?”

“I suppose. But who wants to bother learning a whole new language? How about if I just tell you what I want to say to him, and you can pass it on.”

“I guess that’s fair.”


“You understand dog, Bob. What did he say?”

“I think he wants to go out. Bosco, do you want to go out now?”

“Not really. I just wanted to turn your attention away from the cat.”

“Now, c’mon, guys. Can’t we all just get along?”



“Okay, I give up. I’m going outside. Maybe the birds will be friendlier.”
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