There are many cartoons that have human characters interacting with animals. This kind of thing goes back to the beginning of animation. Anyone who loves cartoons remembers those old Fleischer cartoons where not only did animals talk, but inanimate objects talked as well.

not this kind of mouse lol

There’s always differing ways these humans interact with animals. Sometimes there’s the initial shock, but most of the time they just talk as if it were the normal thing to do. I know it’s fantasy, yet I often think of how that would work in the real world.

Imagine I’m in the kitchen making a sandwich, and suddenly I hear this little voice asking for a piece of bread. I look around trying to figure out where the voice came from, and suddenly I see a mouse actually sitting about 5 feet from me, looking at me with no fear or none of that other stuff that I understand mice do. It’s actions almost seem human; it even has a human look on its face. Then it repeats itself, verifying that indeed it was talking to me.

What would my reaction be? Would I freak, yell out “mouse” and start chasing it? Would I stand frozen because I was surprised that a mouse was talking to me? Would I question my sanity? Or would I talk to it, even if I had to wait for that period of shock to end?

One can extrapolate these feelings into how we deal with people we don’t know. It might seem strange to say that a person might go crazy if someone else was talking to them unexpectedly, but doesn’t that kind of thing happen on a regular basis? I don’t know how many women I’ve talked over the years who have said that they were minding their business when some “creepy” guy spoke to them and how disturbed they were.

When asked what made the guy creepy, there’s no specific way every woman describes the man. Often they didn’t look strange and they didn’t act out of the norm. The women were just surprised and, at times, scared because they might have received a compliment they weren’t expecting. Maybe they were concentrating on something else and didn’t expect anyone to talk to them. Maybe they were in a crowd trying to “hide” but it didn’t work. The reason they’re discomforted could be any number of reasons; you’ve probably been there yourself.

Have you been going somewhere, even where you work, when suddenly someone says something you weren’t expecting? Maybe it was from someone you’ve never seen before, or may have seen but never paid any attention to.

Maybe you were the perpetrator who started the conversation, even if it was only a word or two. A compliment I used to get when I was an every day employee was that I would talk to anyone, no matter which department they worked in, and sometimes patients and family members walking down the hall. Some employees felt that people in other departments looked down on them or ignored them totally because of the job they did. I’m not sure how non-employees felt when I talked to them, but I never heard anyone complain about my being friendly.

In a weird way, I often find myself being in the “starter” position. I’ll say “hello” to a lot of people, or “hi” or “howdy.” I make eye contact. I try to be friendly. That definitely goes against my grain, since in general I’m kind of an introvert. But I can do a quick hello, or say something in a moment where something’s happened that neither party was expecting; that happens a lot in the grocery store. 🙂

I’ll admit it’s possible that sometimes it scares a few people off, but in general the response I get is fairly positive. I figure that you never know when you might run into that person again, when either you or they might need something crucial, and it’s best to already have broken the ice.

If you work in a company with a lot of people, you may never know another employee’s circumstances, whether things are good or bad or if you might encounter them again. How much effort does it take to say “hello” to somebody? You never know when that minor greeting might come back to benefit you later on; trust me, I know this from experience.

Now that I’ve explained it I’ll ask the question again; would you talk to a mouse?

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