Another gem from Dr. Dolittle, as he prepares to leave his turtle friend, Mudface, who responded well to Dr. Dolittle’s gout treatment:

“He made up the six bottles of gout mixture and presented them to Mudface with instructions in how it should be taken. He told him that… it would always be possible to get word to Puddleby. He would ask several birds of passage to stop here occasionally; and if the gout got any worse he wanted Mudface to let him know by letter.”

Ninety years after this was written, we have the technology to do what Hugh Lofting imagined, where a doctor in England can care for a patient in West Africa. Our telemedicine solutions may not be as elegant as knowing the secret languages of animals and collaborating with them to spread messages and deliver packages globally, but we’ll get there.