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A monologue from the book by Mark Twain
NOTE: This monologue is reprinted from Eve’s Diary. Mark Twain. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1906.
We are getting along very well now, Adam and I, and getting better and better acquainted. He does not try to avoid me any more, which is a good sign, and shows that he likes to have me with him.
That pleases me, and I study to be useful to him in every way I can, so as to increase his regard. During the last day or two I have taken all the work of naming things off his hands, and this has been a great relief to him, for he has no gift in that line, and is evidently very grateful.
He can’t think of a rational name to save him, but I do not let him see that I am aware of his defect. Whenever a new creature comes along I name it before he has time to expose himself by an awkward silence.
In this way I have saved him many embarrassments. I have no defect like this. The minute I set eyes on an animal I know what it is. I don’t have to reflect a moment; the right name comes out instantly, just as if it were an inspiration, as no doubt it is, for I am sure it wasn’t in me half a minute before.
I seem to know just by the shape of the creature and the way it acts what animal it is. When the dodo came along he thought it was a wildcat–I saw it in his eye. But I saved him.
And I was careful not to do it in a way that could hurt his pride. I just spoke up in a quite natural way of pleasing surprise, and not as if I was dreaming of conveying information, and said, “Well, I do declare, if there isn’t the dodo!
” I explained–without seeming to be explaining–how I know it for a dodo, and although I thought maybe he was a little piqued that I knew the creature when he didn’t, it was quite evident that he admired me.
That was very agreeable, and I thought of it more than once with gratification before I slept. How little a thing can make us happy when we feel that we have earned it!