Day 13- Channel your Inner Dr Dolittle by Carey Shannon

Write a story in whcih a character talks to an animal

StoryADay Prompt illustration

The Prompt

Dr. Dolittle author Hugh Lofting showed the magic of communicating with animals through his series of children’s books.

The relationship between animals and humans can range from affection to terror.

As pets, animals can sometimes be our greatest confidantes and comforters.

In the wilds of a forest or jungle, they can be our greatest enemy.

Write a story where a person speaks to an animal as if they were another person.

  • Does the animal respond with grunts, growls or by scratching the ground?
  • How does the person interpret the nonverbal responses of the animal?
  • Some ideas include a person confiding a secret to their cat or someone crying to their dog after a bad day at work.
  • A person could also plead with a bear or tiger for their life.
  • There is always the hunter and the hunted.
  • A human could also help an animal in distress or vice versa.

Mystical animals like dragons and unicorns are welcome.

Carey Shannon

Carey Shannon loves to use her writing to make humorous connections between items that may appear completely unrelated. A feat that is easy for a serious Elvis fan and frequent blood donor.
Carey Shannon loves to write about humorous connections between items and subjects in life that may appear to be completely unrelated. A feat that is easy for an Elvis super fan and frequent blood donor. She has been a member of the Story A Day community since 2020 and now hopes to provide some inspiration quirkiness to other writers.

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11 thoughts on “Day 13- Channel your Inner Dr Dolittle by Carey Shannon”

  1. Thank you for permission to write about dragons. Meg talks to Mooj, her dog, in this story, and Egg, the giant egg Mooj finds while they’re foraging. She returns to find their home on fire and flees into the bushland to their secret cabin. Egg hatches and attaches to Meg. These three will go far, and have some avenging to do. 1145 words was a solid start… Great prompt.

  2. I wrote from the POV of a Good Dog, who chases a raccoon down a deer trail, only to find a wrecked car with a person in it. The story is about him running to get help from his Boy.
    I think benefit fun of writing to these prompts that I wouldn’t normally do is tamping down that inner critic. This isn’t a POV or a style I would normally choose.
    Here’s a snippet of the 640 words I came up with:

    “Now hurry. Hurry. Run. Run. Run.
    The rhythm of the words helped him keep his steps even and sure as he ran swiftly on the path ahead.
    He had found Girl sleeping in the woods. Crushed and broken car all around her. Now his paw hurt where he’d stepped in the glass as he reached in and tugged at the sleeve of her jacket.
    He’d been a bad dog and run from his Boy’s fenced yard again. He didn’t like it when Boy called him bad dog, but the raccoon had been at the fishes again. It was his job to chase off the raccoons. Boy called him Good Dog when he chased them to the fence. But he sometimes forgot to stop at the fence. The scent of raccoon was hard to let go.
    Now hurry. Hurry. Run. Run. Run.”

  3. I wrote about an incident that happened with my dog Bunches, who left me in 2005 at the age of 15-1/2 years. I still miss her. My little story is 135 words and is titled Love My Bunches. I wrote it in the present tense — only my second attempt ever to do this.

  4. Sorry, I didn’t go for a dialogue with the animal. I’ll write such a story later. Here is my story in response to the plot :
    How My Hatred for Cats Turned to Gratitude :
    I hated cats till the fateful night when my perception of them underwent a radical change. I looked upon them as the most ungrateful, harmful creatures in God’s Universe. To start with, let me tell you in the first place why I hated them so much.
    There were some 4 or 5 cats in my ancestral home where the raimnants of the old Joint Family System could be seen with four families living under the same roof. The families were related but now had separate kitchens.
    One evening, a servant, disgusted with the cats, picked one up and threw it down with all his might from the first floor. The cat is believed to have 9 lives, so that one survived having been badly injured. It slowly limped to a corner, started licking itself all over, whimpering its heart out.
    People scolded the servant for wounding the cat, telling him that the limping cat was a bad omen. My father, who had been ailing for some time, died in the early hours of the next day!
    The second incident that made me detest the cats even more happened when I was teaching the elder daughter of the next dour neighbour. Their room was situated opposite our house across the lane. From where I was sitting, I could see the neighbour’s younger daughter, Sunu, a 13-year-old, playing on her own out in the lane.
    After a while, I heard some sort of a growling sound, followed by the frightening miaowing of a cat. The next moment, Sunu ran in, picked up a heavy stick, ran out the door and out of sight. My curiosity aroused, I dashed after her.
    Outside, I was greeted with a strange sight! There was a huge stray dog that had cornered a cat. The cat had raised its back in an arch due to fright and was roaring menacingly. I also noticed Sunu ambling towards the dog. I thought that Sunu wanted to shoo the doggie away. What happened instead made the intestines in my stomach turn!
    The moment the ferocious-looking dog saw Sunu coming, it put its tail between its legs and fled like the wind. The cat, surprised at the fleeing dog, regained its normalcy to turn its head back fibally. That’s when it saw Sunu with the stick. It sprang upon her like it thought that it had had enough trouble with the doggie already and was not prepared to have anyone frightening it anymore.
    Sunu had to take 13 heavy shots in the entire year to be safe from hydrophobia! No wonder, I didn’t feel highly of the cats. But the cats in our house grew in number with the passage of time, regardless of my dislike, you may even term it hatred if you want, for them.
    I don’t mind telling you that I was fond of throwing kicks at them. Once or twice I even connected with a few, flinging them heavenwards. As a result, they learnt to keep a safe distance from me.

    That was a bleak, rainy night in May. The extreme heat and humidity had made me retire to bed with the barred windows open.
    For your information, I stayed in a room on the ground floor. There was a fenced garden in the North of my room with fruit and flowering trees. At a handshaking distance from the window there was a pear tree covered with a climber. During monsoons, the delicate branch of the plant forced, its way in. The green leaves of the plant were a treat for the eyes.

    In the dim light, I was in bed, a foot away from the window, listening to some olden goldies from a movie called “Nagin”(The She-Cobra).
    I must have fallen asleep with the music still on when I heard a cat roar. The cat must have roared loud enough to be heard by me. I sat up on bed, rubbed my eyes before swearing with clenched teeth.
    “Shalara (the scoundrels) won’t even let me sleep peacefully. I’ll kill this goddamned cat for sure if it is hiding beneath the bed.”
    Truth to tell, the fierce tone of the cat frightened me out of the bed. Then I saw the cat first on the window sill where a pitcher with cold water was usuall kept. The cat, its raised, arched back towads me, was nailing the sides of the cylindrical pitcher with its paws relentlessly.

    I didn’t switch the light on. I didn’t know how it got in the room and upto the sill but I was not going to let it out.
    Stealthily, I looked for the thin, broken pipe someone kept beside the door. I picked it up and tiptoed my way back to where the devilish cat was, still groaning and pawing the sides of the tumbler like it had seen something behind it.
    “Count yourself lucky if you live to see another day, mate.” I threatened it moving to the window.
    The cat didn’t even turn its head back to me but continued growling and pawing at the unseen enemy as if trying to warn me to be careful.
    I had hardly raised the pipe above my head when I saw the raised hood of the hissing cobra just behind the pitcher. It was not moving at all but with its eyes fixed on the cat!
    Long story short, the cat saved my life that day. If I was awakened a few minutes later, the venomous snake would have found its way to my bed. I shiver till date thinking of the narrow escape.

    The car plunged down and ran out of the open door as soon as the snake was caught by the local charmer. I kept it in mind to go to the market to buy a pair of kittens for the relative who petted the cats in our house. I wouldn’t be here today sharing this story with you all but for the blessed cat that fatal night in May.

  5. I wrote a story about a dog that apparently witnessed a double-murder as a puppy but goes to the grave without revealing the secret of who done it. Except the new owner is sure that dog has provided clues over the years. The clues are vague and dubious, and the case goes unsolved. The clues are also the source of conflict. This one is based on a bit of family history. I’ve been meaning to do something with it, and today’s prompt gave me a reason to do it now.

  6. I just wrote a list of all the things that my rescue dog said to me. Unfortunately, I don’t speak dog, so I didn’t understand at the time.

  7. Wrote a 325-word story in which after a breakup, Lee goes to their best friend’s house and takes comfort from her cat. This one may very well end up in the larger story. A little snippet:

    The cat blinked at them again, turned in a tight circle and curled up on Lee’s lap. They could feel the soft vibration as she started to purr. That purr grew louder as Lee scratched at her head.
    “I don’t know what to do,” they said. “I thought everything was going fine. Then, suddenly Smith doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. Won’t answer my texts. If I hadn’t seen xem the other day, I might have thought xe’d simply stopped existing. What did I do wrong?”
    “Mrw.” Andromeda uncurled and put her front paws on Lee’s stomach, stretching to bump her head against their chin.

  8. My story is 691 words. I never used to write in first person, but since last week’s prompt, this is my fourth first person story. Weird. The story is about a woman who cries on the shoulder of a giant yellow lab at the death of their little companion, a Jack Russell. The lab sits patiently while she puts her arms around him and lets out all her anguish. She remembers all their good times, the regrets and all the things she wishes she’d said and done while the little dog was still alive.

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