Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • I don't know if you've noticed,

  • but there's been a spate of books

  • that have come out lately

  • contemplating or speculating

  • on the cognition and emotional life of dogs.

  • Do they think, do they feel and, if so, how?

  • So this afternoon, in my limited time,

  • I wanted to take the guesswork out of a lot of that

  • by introducing you to two dogs,

  • both of whom have taken the command "speak"

  • quite literally.

  • The first dog is the first to go,

  • and he is contemplating an aspect

  • of his relationship to his owner,

  • and the title is "A Dog on His Master."

  • "As young as I look,

  • I am growing older faster than he.

  • Seven to one is the ratio, they tend to say.

  • Whatever the number, I will pass him one day

  • and take the lead,

  • the way I do on our walks in the woods,

  • and if this ever manages to cross his mind,

  • it would be the sweetest shadow

  • I have ever cast on snow or grass."

  • (Applause)

  • Thank you.

  • And our next dog

  • speaks in something called the revenant,

  • which means a spirit that comes back

  • to visit you.

  • "I am the dog you put to sleep,

  • as you like to call the needle of oblivion,

  • come back to tell you this simple thing:

  • I never liked you."

  • (Laughter)

  • "When I licked your face,

  • I thought of biting off your nose.

  • When I watched you toweling yourself dry,

  • I wanted to leap and unman you with a snap.

  • I resented the way you moved,

  • your lack of animal grace,

  • the way you would sit in a chair to eat,

  • a napkin on your lap, a knife in your hand.

  • I would have run away

  • but I was too weak,

  • a trick you taught me

  • while I was learning to sit and heel

  • and, greatest of insults,

  • shake hands without a hand.

  • I admit the sight of the leash would excite me,

  • but only because it meant I was about to smell things

  • you had never touched.

  • You do not want to believe this,

  • but I have no reason to lie:

  • I hated the car, hated the rubber toys,

  • disliked your friends, and worse, your relatives.

  • The jingling of my tags drove me mad.

  • You always scratched me in the wrong place."

  • (Laughter)

  • "All I ever wanted from you was food and water

  • in my bowls.

  • While you slept, I watched you breathe

  • as the moon rose in the sky.

  • It took all of my strength

  • not to raise my head and howl.

  • Now, I am free of the collar,

  • free of the yellow raincoat,

  • monogrammed sweater,

  • the absurdity of your lawn,

  • and that is all you need to know about this place,

  • except what you already supposed

  • and are glad it did not happen sooner,

  • that everyone here can read and write,

  • the dogs in poetry,

  • the cats and all the others

  • in prose."

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

I don't know if you've noticed,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

B1 US TED hated watched wanted jingling leash

【TED】Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably) (Billy Collins: Two poems about what dogs think (probably))

  • 2818 107
    Daniel Chin posted on 2014/06/28
Video vocabulary