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An Andalusian dog

Naixo, 3-year old golden retriever. Confession recorded on October 17, 1998 and translated by Prof. Maria Jesus Alcofribar, Professor of Canine Linguistics, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Politécnica de Sevilla.

I, Prince Naixo, son of Prince Calixto and Princess Paquita, brother or Princes Pepe, Gladio and Montxo, have watched the sun rise 4317 times above the horizon of my territory. I am old. I bit many Princes, covered many Princesses, and killed many Parasites in my life. I know the Slaves: they serve at my table, they tend to my needs, they breed, they come and go throughout my territory. Most of the Slaves are loyal and faithful to us, but communication is difficult. We never know what they think. Their language is obscure and seems to be made of simple sounds randomly patched together, in a poor imitation of our own Bark. Only the brightest Slaves know and pronounce our names, as well as a few words related to food, in their own clumsy way.

I knew one Slave who was different from the other members of his race. He had come to live to an empty territory next to mine. I had met a few freed Slaves before: they all retained some minimal awareness of their inferior position. This one did not. He did not even care to come over and make his plea of allegiance. I was angry, and crossed the border to see him. I can tell you that I was surprised. Though he was outwardly a Slave, he could almost have been mistaken for a retarded Prince. He had a limited vocabulary, but how much richer than the one painfully forced into, and extracted from, your average Slave. And he did not smell like one. If you shut you ears and eyes, he just disappeared. And, like a Prince, had a name. He called himself .

He stayed two years in the territory next door. We visited each other quite often, and that made my own Slaves jealous. Neither did approve of this a few of my fellow Princes, I had my share of bites and scratches about this. What did we discuss together, and I? Well, he asked me about my life, the Princes, the Enemies and the Slaves. I asked him once, why all these questions, and he told me he wanted to understand.Understand what? Everything. Why did he settle here? He said there wasa door here, that he could use as a passage between his world and ours, theworld of the Princes. I must agree that his explanations were often a littleconfusing. He hardly talked about himself and he seemed to realise that hisvocabulary and intelligence were too limited. I never came to learn what hadturned him into this peculiar unfinished being. Perhaps he was the outcome of a failed medical experiment, a vivisection such as the ones performed by the Slaves on themselves, that would have dramatically sharpened his wits. Just a thought.

One day, I found "his" territory empty. He had left nothing behind but a few tracks, some broken lines drawn with the little twigs he liked to collect in the yard. I think he intended to bestow them on me, but I was never able to interpret their meaning. I still have them, in my Kennel, under my Pillow, and I proudly watch over them day after day like only a Prince of good breeding can do.

Gilles Tran © 2001 www.oyonale.com