I Remember catching sparrows in the chicken coop. They flew in to eat feed, and I liked to go in there and try to catch them. It wasn't that easy, I was only 5 or 6. The sparrows fluttered away from me in the small space as I caught them in my hands. I remember holding them so gently for a minute, watching closely, then I released it, only to catch another. I loved catching sparrows, it seemed so delightful to hold them. They were so light, they had nostrils, and tiny claws. Released, they always flew quickly away. At last I think they may have played with me; letting me catch them.
I didn't really communicate directly with animals as a child, I just loved them, and watched them with curiosity.
Decades later, after hearing a conversation on NPR Radio about animal communication, I made my attempt. My first experience of actually receiving a communication was from Kiko a barn cat, who I fed and sometimes heard, but had never seen. I decided I would attempt to tell Kiko I wanted to see him when I fed him.
I sent my first message, a picture of a cats head. I want to see you.
I was surprised when I received a picture of two cat eyes. That cat greeting was encouraging, and it was followed the next day by a cat looking up from a stack of hay bales. Over the next few months I asked Kiko come out; to eat while I was in the barn; let me touch his head while eating; and finally to let me pet him. I was shortly able to hold him too. He was a handsome, soft, long haired tabby with white patches. He like to be held.
Some animals have a sense of humor. One time I saw a toad in the garden. It was a rare thing to see a toad. I foolishly asked, "Are there were many toads?" The toad's reply, "Are there many people?" That struck me as very funny, and it still makes me laugh. 1 toad, 1 person.