This new creature with the long hair is a good deal in the
way. It is always hanging around and following me about. I don't like this;
I am not used to company. I wish it would stay with the other animals. I
get no chance to name anything myself. The new creature names everything
that comes along, before I can get in a protest. And always that same pretext
is offered--it LOOKS like the thing. There is a dodo, for instance. Says
the moment one looks at it one sees at a glance that it "looks like
a dodo." It will have to keep that name, no doubt. It wearies me to
fret about it, and it does no good, anyway. Dodo! It looks no more like
a dodo than I do. I built me a shelter against the rain, but could not have
it to myself in peace. The new creature intruded. When I tried to put it
out it shed water out of the holes it looks with, and wiped it away with
the back of its paws, and made a noise such as some of the other animals
make when they are in distress. I wish it would not talk; it is always talking.
The naming goes recklessly on, in spite of anything I can do. I had a very
good name for the estate, and it was musical and pretty--GARDEN OF EDEN.
Privately, I continue to call it that, but not any longer publicly. The
new creature says it is all woods and rocks and scenery, and therefore has
no resemblance to a garden. Says it LOOKS like a park, and does not look
like anything BUT a park. Consequently, without consulting me, it has been
new-named NIAGARA FALLS PARK. This is sufficiently high-handed, it seems
to me. And already there is a sign up: KEEP OFF THE GRASS. My life is not
as happy as it was. She has littered the whole estate with execrable names
and offensive signs: THIS WAY TO THE WHIRLPOOL; THIS WAY TO GOAT ISLAND;
CAVE OF THE WINDS THIS WAY. I escaped last Tuesday night, and traveled two
days, and built me another shelter in a secluded place, and obliterated
my tracks as well as I could, but she hunted me out by means of a beast
which she has tamed and calls a wolf, and came making that pitiful noise
again, and shedding that water out of the places she looks with. I was obliged
to return with her, but will presently emigrate again when occasion offers.
She engages herself in many foolish things; among others; to study out why
the animals called lions and tigers live on grass and flowers, when, as
she says, the sort of teeth they wear would indicate that they were intended
to eat each other. This is foolish, because to do that would be to kill
each other, and that would introduce what, as I understand, is called "death";
and death, as I have been told, has not yet entered the Park. Which is a
pity, on some accounts.
Credits: Reprinted from Extracts From Adam's Diary. Mark Twain.
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1904.
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