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Koko and her Kitten

Koko - Gorilla - California, U.S.A. communication pioneer..

- My Heroine - (see set)


Koko's first kitten was orange and tail-less and Koko named it "All Ball." She also signed, "Soft good cat cat."


I guess Koko cannot really be called a 'woman,' but she is female and one of the most important teachers living. Penny Patterson (photo follows) has been living with her for decades and taught Koko sign language, which is usually learned by the deaf. Koko knows and uses more than 1,000 signs. . In this way Koko has let us into the mind and heart of what most people think of as a very large beast. Koko's mind is wise, and sharply humorous. Her heart is huge and tender.


I've learned a lot from Koko, from articles and her books (there are books of her words!). I will never forget long ago when I first read that a writer who had come and had a little interview with Koko asked her if she thought she was an person or an animal. Koko signed, "Me some fine animal."


I think the quote of Koko's which comes to me most often is the one which, like All Ball's name, showed that poetic imagery is also an animal instinct. Koko was angry at her playmate and called him, signing fast with her fingers, "Bad dirty toilet!"


Wonderous things can be seen here at Koko's site. The best place to spend half a day or more when you are lazy or sick in bed. It's fabulous !


Intro page

whole thing


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Uploaded on February 2, 2008