Oh, sorry, I’ll try again in a language you might understand…
As you might have noticed, I’m not human. But I’ve lived all my life among you humans. I live in an interesting time.
When I was a young pup, a gentleman adopted me and gave me a fine place to stay in exchange for slipper and newspaper retrieval and the occasional chased rat. I also chased a few cats and squirrels on my own to make sure I was providing good service.
My gentleman had an interest in several arts. He was an avid photographer. And he dabbled with the latest in technologies, most of which were simply not interesting to a young dog. But there was one thing, which I will have to speak of later.
But first, speech. You’ve probably noticed by now that I can speak in a way that you can understand. Surely that is something of a novelty even though you are sitting there dutifully taking notes and haven’t expressed even a smidgen of surprise?
No? Well then.
We’ll never be sure how it came about, as my memory of events is clouded by age, and perhaps by not having spoken until it happened. I was still young then, but certainly no longer a pup. My gentleman had a visitor who I do recall vetting very carefully at the door before allowing in to our flat. However, I cannot recall that much about him. I don’t believe I ever knew his name.
Right, names. I’m a forgetful old dog. My name is Nipper, I am a Rat Terrier (or at least mostly a Terrier). And I knew yours once, but it has slipped from my mind, and certainly isn’t important right now.
So, no I don’t remember the visitor’s name, but his magnificent moustache does stand out in my memory. Large and shiny it was, extending well past his cheeks and brought out to points. Unusual for the styles of the day I think.
He and my gentleman—
Oh, his name?
Let me think.
Yes. I’m sure I can recall, it was short and hard for a dog to pronounce correctly. “Mark”, I believe.
Now where was I?
Surname? “Barraud” I believe. Yes, French. I was actually owned by two gentlemen named Barraud, as after my original Mark passed away, I made my home for a time with his brother.
So I allowed the nameless visitor into our home. He and my gentleman spent most of the afternoon closeted up together discussing some project or another. This was usually my cue to find a sunny spot and enjoy a nap, and this time was no exception.
Until I awakened with a start, and with much more clarity of mind. And I spoke. My gentleman was nearly as startled as I was, and wasted no time applying one of his latest acquisitions to make a recording of the event. A recording I listened to many times in my later years.
But I may have said too much. Certainly, I’ve said enough for today, and I can see the sun warming my favorite chair, so I will bid you Adieu and not delay my nap any longer.