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In praise of - talking animals.

HOT on the heels, or at least flippers, of a talking whale, comes an elephant speaking Korean.

You may laugh, but how many Korean words do you know? Zactly: nane. Koshik knows only five words – so more than the average Scottish footballer – but they sound pretty authentic.

He doesn't know what they mean (he is an animal and therefore, by definition, thick) but he presents a fair facsimile by bunging his trunk into his gob and squeezing the words oot past it. Koshik is speaking out of sheer desperation, as he's lonely. The words he has learned mean "hello", "sit doon", "naw", "lie doon", and "guid" or "good", if you will.

The talking whale, christened Moby Diction, didn't mouth words so much as human-style sounds. He sounded like a kazoo and was clearly talking out his blowhole, but at least he put in the effort. These guys join the ranks of parrots, long famed for mouthing off quite eloquently, often accompanied by an intelligent-looking inclining of the heid, as if they were trying to understand us.

Well, good luck with that. We don't understand us. If only they could talk. That's the oft-expressed sentiment regarding our four-legged, two-clawed, single-blowholed friends.

Their list of complaints would surely be voluminous. Stop eating/clubbing/hunting us for fun might be among the topics mentioned.

But I'm not holding my breath, partly because it's difficult to speak when you do that. It's possible that our dumb chums might lose some of their charm if they start indulging in small talk.

Before they knew where they were, they'd be badmouthing each other and gossiping. The Chinese sage said: "Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know." But that, as I've said before, was easy for him to say.

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