Man is the Reasoning Animal. Such is the claim. I think it is open to dispute. Indeed, my experiments have proven to me that he is the Unreasoning Animal... In truth, man is incurably foolish. Simple things which other animals easily learn, he is incapable of learning. Among my experiments was this. In an hour I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately.Next, in another cage I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh--not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.
Aunt Prue was holding one of the squirrels in her hand, while it sucked ferociously on the end of the dropper. 'And once a day, we have ta clean their little private parts with a Q-tip, so they'll learn ta clean themselves.' That was a visual I didn't need. 'How could you possibly know that?' 'We looked it up on the E-nternet.' Aunt Mercy smiled proudly. I couldn't imagine how my aunts knew anything about the Internet. The Sisters didn't even own a toaster oven. 'How did you get on the Internet?' 'Thelma took us ta the library and Miss Marian helped us. They have computers over there. Did you know that?
Of course we will send postcards to Nutsawoo. And we shall bring him back a present as well. In fact,' she went on, with the instinctive knack every good governess has for turning something enjoyable into a lesson, and vice versa, 'I will expect all three of you to practice your writing by keeping a journal of our trip so that Nutsawoo may know how we spend our days. Why, by the time we return, he will think he has been to London himself! He will be the envy of all his little squirrel friends,' she declared.Penelope had no way of knowing if this last statement was true. Could squirrels feel envy? Would they give two figs about London? Did Nutsawoo even have friends?