Vanna Speaks

Article Number Two

Can Humans Play?

When I was very young, I remember my human house-mates throwing a ball or something. Anyway, it would frustrate me that they would throw anything away. So, I would do the best that I could do to stop the thing, and sometimes I would even bring the thing back to them. But I was even more irritated that they would then throw it again. It was as if they didn't learn the first time, or two, or three! Then I decided to view the whole situation from the human point of view. If they really wanted to throw that thing, I would let them. And I would study the process, just as they seemed to do.

The next time that they threw that thing, I sat at the feet of the human. I tried to align myself similar to the human, though my view was from a much lower height. I sat perfectly still, so as to not affect the study. The pretty colored "super ball" bounced across the tile, hit the inside of the front door, then dribbled all about the corner beyond that door. I watched very closely as the ball then rolled slowly back to us. It obviously was trying to get back to where it started. The human then muttered something, picked up the ball and threw it away again. This time I did note that the ball went faster and bounced higher; but, still, it finally ended up trying to get back to us. I sat rigid, allowing this ludicrous experiment to proceed. I lost track of how many times the human threw the ball, but each throw was only slightly different than the previous. Only the muttering changed in character and intensity. I came away from the experiment with the knowledge that humans, indeed, are entertained by quite simplistic routines.

I also came away from the experiment rather quickly, as the human yelled something to the effect of "You lousy bum, you're no terrier!", and then ran after me… Well, I took that comment as a very nice compliment, and I certainly enjoyed the run. It was nice to see the human run after something, and I definitely was harder to get than any ball. And, you see, it was my idea, from a time period very early in the experiment, to convince the human that there were much better things to do than throw a ball.

It only took me another few months to train the human properly. Now, our game is as complex as anything that you might see in the movies. I will signal the start by merely turning my head to the left and dropping my muzzle only slightly. The human then removes the slippers. At that point, I know that the sweet, but rather dull, human got the idea. The human must then chase me, in figure eight patterns and an occasional circle, around support columns and my couch. I will let the human close in and touch my tail, then I put on a burst of energy and start zooming around the course faster. When I tire, I loop back to my couch and flop in my favorite resting space. The human knows that this is the "safe" spot, and that I have won the game. The human huffs and puffs and has a very nice injection of the cheeks; so, I am sure that the human had a good time too! And the human must understand, by now, that this is a lot more fun than throwing some inanimate object across the room. I still don't understand human play.

Till next time, I have spoken.


From the archives...

Article One     Article Three     Article Four     Article Five     Article Six     Article Seven     Article Eight

Vanna spoke with Terry for the last time on 02-19-2009