While I was in grade school my grandparents had a rhesus monkey – there were times that they entertained the monkey, Chico, by sitting up a card table in the center of their living room and putting out on it a Sears and Roebuck catalog. They would leave it there with the pages open. That was a time when all sorts of things were for sale in their Big Book.
We would all sit around the room talking and watching the monkey browse through the pages. He would turn each page and then carefully spread it out flat. Then he would sit with his hands folded behind his back while exploring all of the photographs before him. He would slowly look first at the left page from top to bottom and then the right, while chattering the whole time.
When Chico would come to the part where various breeds of dogs were pictured, he would get so excited that he sometimes flipped over backwards while he seemed to laugh – out – loud. Then he would point to the family dog, Beau, sleeping at the feet of my grandfather. Beau would quickly respond and go to the edge of the card table poking his nose up by the monkey. Chico would start pointing to a photo of one of the dogs, the breed would not matter, then point directly at Beau – back and forth his finger would go – apparently he recognized that they were all dogs – while laughing the entire time. Beau would get excited and it seemed obvious to us, at the time, that they were communicating in humor.
And we want to think that we are the only ones that can make our thoughts known to each other.