During my first week at college, I saw one of those comedic hypnotists convince my new friend John that he had a dire message to deliver to the crowd, and that as soon as he reached the microphone he realized he could only crow like a chicken. John was normally a laid-back, slow-drawler from Macon, Georgia, and the site of him hopping up and down, flapping his bent arms and buckawk-ing with manic urgency was as surreal a thing as I've seen.
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to TwoBert's world.
If there is one true thing in this random universe, it's that TwoBert has something to tell you. He's seen the signs, he's read the word, he knows what he wants, he knows what's to come. Mostly he'd like that thing over there, just out of his reach. Or perhaps a drink. But the poor boy is still so hamstrung by his pre-verbality that all he can do is point and moan like a baby Wookiee. He's got superb comprehension -- once you figure out what he's moaning for, his eyes beam like halogen foglights, and he smiles and shakes his head vigorously like a dog waiting for you to toss the Snausage. And to his credit, he's learned to ask for water long before he's actually thirsty, because by the time he's finally communicated that he wants a pull of water, he knows he'll be absolutely parched.
Luckily, there is no mystery when he wants to go for a walkabout. This morning, after his nap, he scampered into the room, threw both his shoes at me, and pulled on my fingers like he was reeling in a 20-pound marlin. We walked 9 city blocks (!) to the park, and he spent two hours throwing himself headlong down the curly slide. Free-range chickens should have it so good.