Once there was a spotted dog who sat and stared at his woman while she made things with bits of cloth and bone. Finally she agreed to teach him. They started with the basics: sit, stay, make yourself dinner. He went on to learn certain relevant nouns: water, biscuit, stock market. When he kept staring, she showed him pictures. He seemed most excited by images of the sea, so she took him diving. He could hold his breath longer than any man she’d ever known. Still he stared. So she taught him how to read. After that, the woman and the dog relinquished the world of sound. They went on to live in quiet isolation, sharing their love of words and water, without concern for anyone's assumptions.