Koko's Story
Animal Stories from All-Creatures.org

From "Koko's Story" by Francine Patterson www.koko.org Presented by Marisa Miller as part of her service "Animal Voices" Submitted by Constance Young
August 2009

Koko likes quiet friends and is especially gentle with babies and older people.

When Koko meets people for the first time, she gives them the "blow test" by blowing into their faces. Then she uses the signs she knows to find out more about them.

"Fake tooth?" she signs to see if they have any gold teeth or silver fillings.

Koko also comments on their jewelry and clothes, and may ask to see the contents of their briefcase or purse. She may show off her toys or the posters on her walls.

Koko likes to take photographs and will sometimes hold my friend Ron's camera if he lets her. She loves to watch the flash go off.

"Love camera," she signs.

Dinnertime is around four-thirty, and the meal is almost always fresh vegetables. Koko likes corn on the cob and tomatoes, but she will not eat mushrooms or radishes.

"Dirty stink," she signs, if she sees them on her plate.

Before bed, Koko goes off by herself for "quiet time." Sometimes she looks through a stack of her favorite letters from children. Or Koko might play a scary game with her dolls and dinosaur.

"Teeth, bite," she signs, as she makes the rubber dinosaur attack one of her dolls. The doll squeaks, and Koko quickly picks up the dinosaur and twists it around in the air. Then Koko inspects her doll and starts to kiss it. Then she decides to kiss the dinosaur, and the play acting is over."

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