I Want to Talk to the Animals Like They Did in the Bible

I Want to Talk to the Animals Like They Did in the Bible July 1, 2024

Animals Talked in the Bible

The serpent spoke to Eve/image courtesy of Pixabay

The Bible records three accounts of talking animals. The first occurs in Genesis 3:1-5 when the serpent spoke to Eve. It makes me wonder whether or not Eve thought it strange that a serpent would speak at all or whether all the animals spoke, therefore, it was no big deal. We know how that encounter turned out. The second account is Balaam’s Donkey in Numbers 22:22-40. Again, Balaam did not appear to find it odd that his donkey talked to him. In this story, it appears Balaam was the real donkey for not listening to his beast. The third reference is found in Revelation 8:13 in which an eagle cries, “Woe! Woe! Woe! to the inhabitants of the earth from the rest of the trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to blow!” This is a dire warning that judgment is coming.   

Talking donkey
Let me tell you something/image courtesy of Pixabay

I Wish I Could Talk to the Animals

In my forty years as a veterinarian, there were some things I envied among those of my more esteemed “real doctor” colleagues, not the least of which was their patients could talk and tell them where it hurt. That is, except for pediatricians, who I believe deserve a lot of kudos for a profession paralleling that of veterinarians, save for their much higher income. Another thing I envied, particularly among “real doctor surgeons,” was they didn’t have to contend with fleas in their surgical fields. At least I hope they didn’t.

Dr. Dolittle Could Talk to the Animals

But back to treating patients who can’t talk. More than once I wished for the ability of Dr. Dolittle to “talk to the animals.” I thought I should have been endowed with this skill as my maiden name was Little, which is close enough to Dolittle. It is always frustrating to be presented with an animal in which the complaint is “he’s not doing right.” We even have an acronym for this in veterinary medicine—ADR, which stands for “ain’t doin’ right.” Another common presentation was “he’s not himself.” I always had to stifle the urge to ask, “Well, if he’s not himself, who is he?”

Still, there were so many times I longed to get into the head of the animal. What were they thinking? Why couldn’t they just cooperate so we could get the blood sample, radiograph, ultrasound, etc., the first time without bodily injury and wailing and gnashing of teeth? (Usually mine.) Why was it that trimming toenails often evoked a response similar to what one might expect with having the whole foot amputated without anesthesia? I just wished I could communicate and speak their language.

Author with macaw
Sometimes my patients talk to me/image courtesy of author

The Times My Patients Talked to Me

However, there were a few occasions when I knew exactly what my patients were thinking because they told me. These patients were talking birds. Once, when I first saw my patient, I said, “Hello, pretty bird.” It responded with an obscenity that made my toes curl, leaving no doubt as to what he wanted me to do. Another time, as I walked into the exam room, the bird was sitting on the table outside his cage. When he saw me, he said, “I’m okay, I’m okay, I’m okay,” and ran back into his cage, pulling the door closed behind him. One bird called me a “heifer.” Once, while I was working at an animal rescue, a macaw ran up and down his overhead perch admonishing me to “Stop it!”  I’ve even had birds bite me and then laugh. But the funniest one of all was a bird I restrained for a nail trim. He screamed, “Help! Murder! Police!” I could only imagine what went on in his house.

Maybe It’s Better I Don’t Talk to the Animals

On further reflection, it is probably best I didn’t know what my patients were thinking. That way, I could fool myself into thinking they actually liked me. Of the three occasions when animals spoke in the Bible, it didn’t turn out well for humans.

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