A Wish for Koko (Ch. 1)

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And she believed they could talk to people, too, if they had a way to do it. When Penny met Koko, she knew it was time to try.

So she did something no one had done before. She taught sign language to a gorilla. I looked at the picture of Penny and baby Koko. I could tell she already loved that gorilla.

Koko went to live with Penny and learned over 1,000 signs and 2,000 spoken words. She even made up words of her own.

When Koko shared her thoughts and feelings with Penny, Penny shared them with everyone.









Koko loved picture books. Gorillas and cats most of all. When Penny asked Koko what she wanted for her birthday, Koko signed, “Cat, cat, cat.”

Penny didn’t know Koko meant a real cat. So when Koko unwrapped a black toy cat, she was so upset she covered it with a rag and threw it in the air.

I knew how Koko felt. Once I asked for a real rabbit for my birthday and got a wind-up one instead. I didn’t throw it, but I wanted to.

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