Humans are animals, and they talk to other ani mals. The conversations tend to be one-sided. However, talking animals have been the subjects of myth and religious writing since the dawn of history. Early Egyptian inscriptions portray birds giving advice to kings. Much later, Horapollo Nilous, an Egyptian scribe of the 6th century A. D. , described a “formal” test of animal lan guage (Morris &; Morris, 1966): “By tradition, genuinely sacred baboons were supposed to be able to read and write. When a newcomer was brought to the temple, Horapollo tells us, the priests presented it with a writing tablet, a reed pen and ink to find out whether it qualified as a member of the holy race or not. Those that failed the test were put to work on menial tasks, but those that the priests dubbed literate were kept in the temples, the cost of their food and upkeep being supported by gifts from worshippers. Here they lived a privileged existence and were given the finest roast meats to eat and wine to drink” (p. 12).