The Landmark

Dr. Boone burst into his superior’s office.  ‘Dr . Tan!’ he cried, slamming the door open and disturbing Tan’s mid-day coffee.
            ‘What is it, Boone?!’ demanded Tan, sopping the spill with his sleeve.
            ‘A landmark, sir!’ exclaimed Boone.  ‘A literary break-through!’
            ‘A literary break-through?  Don’t you work with monkeys?’
            ‘Well yes.  No.  See, you see…’
            ‘Slow down, Boone.  Calm and tell me what happened.’
            ‘As you know, sir, we on the seventh floor have several dozen gorillas fluent in sign language.’
            Tan shrugged.
            ‘Well, recently, you see, we’ve gotten into the habit of reading Dickens to one of our gorillas named Lucy.’
            ‘You have more than one gorilla named Lucy?’
            ‘Er, no, I mean, “one of our gorillas, and her name is Lucy”.’
            ‘You’ve been reading Lucy Dickens.  And…?’
            ‘Well, she liked “A Tale of Two Cities”, but “A Christmas Carol” scared her.’
            ‘Your landmark is a gorilla’s critique of Dickens?’
            ‘Er…no sir.  You see, Lucy had some trouble at first grasping the concept of fiction.  She would keep asking us, “Where’s Scrooge?”,  “Where’s Darnay?”, “Where’s Tom Sawyer?”.’
            ‘Tom Sawyer?’
            ‘Yes, well, we read her a bit of Twain as well.’
            ‘No harm in that, I suppose.’
            ‘Well anyway, eventually we explained to her that these people didn’t exist, that they were created by Dickens…
            ‘And Twain.’
            ‘Created by Dickens and Twain.’
            ‘Ah, yes, er, and Twain, but created to tell a story.  Once she grasped that concept, she decided that she wanted to write her own story.  And she did.’
            ‘This gorilla wrote her own story?!’
            ‘Well, she dictated it to Dr. Drill, but yes, essentially, and I have a copy right here.’  Boone gave Tan the paper he had been holding. ‘It’s not really great,’ warned Boone, ‘but it is the first piece of Gorilla literature in history!’
            Tan grabbed the paper and read it eagerly.  It said: GORILLA-LUCY SITS ON THE GRASS AND EATS AND TALKS TO THE PEOPLE.
            Tan took a deep sigh.  ‘Well, they do say to write what you know.’
            ‘Yes, sir, they do.’

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