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Garden Gnomes Observed, page 17

I have tried to communicate with individual garden gnomes of the more pleasant sort, but their intelligence is very primitive much below that of an animal and I have not had much success. During instruction in the army we were frequently ordered to " go through the motions " of loading a rifle or machine gun for purposes of practice. The same phrase seems the best one to describe the "speech " of the garden gnome. They "go through the motions" of speech; indeed, they sometimes appear to be shouting loudly and extravagantly, but no sound that I have been able to catch issues from their widely-opened mouths. This is very typical of the lower orders of garden gnomes who imitate many of the ways of Humanity without the slightest understanding of their meaning and purpose. One little fellow, of whom a description is given later, was proud of the trees in which he lived and worked and he tried to say so; he was quite pleased at being noticed and did his very best to help on the conversation, but his natural limitations stood in his way.

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