Monday, May 20, 2013

Between the Lines: Doctor Dolittle

This week I'm on location in the charming little fictitious English town of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh. I'm here to speak with its most famous resident and the world's most famous animal lover, Doctor Dolittle. He can talk to animals, and was kind enough to invite me here to talk with him about his remarkable story.

Greg:  Thanks for inviting me, doctor. This is really a very pretty village. Did you always have a love of animals?

Dr. Dolittle:  Oh yes. I've always been a bit of an animal lover. I never missed the opportunity to take in a sick or abandoned animal. My cottage became so crowded with animals that I lost all my human patients. My income was drying up and I would have been destitute if it weren't for Polynesia. 

Greg:  Polynesia?

Dr. Dolittle: My parrot. At first, he was just a pet and i taught him all sorts of words. Then one day, the most extraordinary thing happened.

Greg:  What was that?

Dr. Dolittle:  He began speaking on his own. By that I mean he did not just repeat the words I had taught him, he actually spoke for himself. 

Greg:  What did you do?

Dr. Dolittle:  I was taken aback, I can tell you. I could scarce believe what I was hearing. However, after Polynesia assured me that he could in fact talk, he made a very intriguing proposition. He offered to teach me how to talk with animals.

Greg:  Hey, that's pretty cool.

Dr. Dolittle:  Quite. My thought exactly. It was an opportunity not to be missed. Think of it, a chance to know what animals were thinking! It would also aid me in discovering what was making them sick and would help me cure them.

Greg:  So what happened?

Dr. Dolittle:  Polynesia opened a whole new world to me. I became a veterinarian. Animals came from all over the world so that I could cure them. Sometimes, if they could not come to me, I went to them. That set the stage for a host of adventures.

Greg:  Like what?

Dr. Dolittle:  I enlisted some of my animal friends to sail to Africa to cure an epidemic that was sweeping the Monkey Kingdom. Naturally, the trip was not without its problems. Animals make clumsy sailors at best, and we were shipwrecked. 

Greg:  Shipwrecked? What did you do?

Dr. Dolittle:  We managed to extricate ourselves and made our way to the Monkey Kingdom. With the help of my friends, I was able to snuff out the epidemic. The Monkey king was so grateful he presented me with the rarest of creatures. Something than no man had ever laid eyes on before.

Greg:  What was it?

Dr. Dolittle:  A pushmi-pullyu. I believe it was a cross between an antelope and a zebra or something of the like. It had two heads and four legs. There was one head in front and one behind. It was a priceless gift. The pushmi-pullyu was a little hesitant at first, but when we finally got back to England (we had a bit of bother with pirates), they were pleasantly surprised. I think everything turned out most satisfactorily for everyone involved.

Greg:  That's wonderful. Thank you so much for having us over to visit with you.

Dr. Dolittle:  No bother at all, my pleasure entirely. We are getting ready to take the pushmi-pullyu on tour to raise awareness for animal welfare. He should really impress the customers coming and going! Cheers!

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