While Reading THE RAVEN on Wikipedia


I pondered weak and wary,

nodded, neatly nipping napoleon brandy,

I heard a knock, knock at the door.  “Who’s there?”  


“Border Collies,” was the answer.


 “Border Collies who?”


“Border Collies don’t who, we bark, ha, ha, ha.”  I opened the door to find two young Border Collies high pawing and sharing a flask. They said they were called Lenore and Nevermore, but that I could call them anything I’d like because they’d probably ignore me anyway.  Without invitation, they made themselves comfortable, southern comfortable with ice to be exact. 


Not knowing much about Border Collies, I returned online to Wikipedia and perused their section on canine breeds.  Lap dogs: Japanese Chins.  Hunting dogs: Finnish Spitzers – beware of  knife in the boot.  And Extortionist dogs: Neapolitan Neecaps.  Under Border Collies, Wikipedia noted that this breed invented the electric light bulb, ended World War III, and will clear out your liquor cabinet when you aren’t looking. Wikipedia also noted that they were most intelligent dogs.   However, glancing over as they clicked on Fox News, I questioned that last entry.


Lenore and Nevermore had switched off the TV and had set up the chessboard along with half the bottles from my liquor cabinet.  After the fourth game with my canine guests, I decided to bring up that last item from Wikipedia.


“Of course we’re intelligent,” said Lenore.


“VERY intelligent,” added Nevermore.


“Let’s not go too far,” I protested. “After all, I did win half these games.”


“But you’ve cheated during every game,” said Lenore.


“Cheated?  Define cheating.  And besides there are two of you.”


Lenore downed her Johnny Walker with a beer chaser. 


“Aha!” I cried!  “Hop Scotch or Scotch then Hops, to be precise.  You lose your queen.”


“You can’t do that,” said Lenore.


“It is a perfectly legitimate move. You can look it up on Wikipedia under perfectly legitimate chess moves.”


“That move is in Wikipedia?” asked Nevermore.


“It had better be, I just edited it in twenty minutes ago.”


“Is Wikipedia a good source?” asked Lenore.


“It is an excellent source.  My grandmother used Wikipedia as a source every Sunday.  She mixed it with meatballs and sweet sausage.  But since she was from Southern Italy, she called it gravy instead.”

“That’s enough source for you,” said Nevermore.


            “You know,” said Lenore, “chess really isn’t the best way to determine intelligence.”


“Right,” Said Nevermore.  “Traditionally, it is the towel over the head test.”


“Towel over the head?” I said.  “Sounds complicated.”


“Not really,” said Lenore.  “We just take this towel here and toss it over your head, and then we time how long it takes you to get it off.”


As the room went black – or terry cloth dark, anyway – I could feel Lenore reach for my wallet and hear the clatter of the keyboard.  “How will tossing a towel over my head determine how intelligent you two are?”  I asked. 


“It is fully explained in Wikipedia,” Quoth the Border Collie Nevermore.