Guess what I got for Christmas. A dragon! I like it a lot because it helps me get my work done faster. Who would have thought? I do have one complaint, though. At odd times, my new dragon tends to blurt out the weirdest things. Yesterday, for instance, he wrote, “Beavers built Claude’s church.”
Say what? I congratulate those industrious critters for taking on such a project, but who is Claude? And what does this have to do with the new edition of my book, The Cancer Survival Guide: Practical Help, Spirtual Hope, that I am so busily updating?
I’m a patient person. I gave my dragon another chance. It wrote: “The land was ravaged by her hairy slugs.”
Come on, Dragon. That’s going too far!
Perhaps I should explain. My new dragon is a speech recognition program called Dragon Naturally Speaking. I put on a headset and speak into the microphone, and the dragon turns my dictation into typed text. Since I have been contracted for an updated version of The Cancer Survial Guide (it is now ten years old), I jumped at the chance to read the text in rather than retype the entire book. The program really does work well. Most of the time. Until the dragon belches out an unintelligible sentence such as: “Israelites laundered in the wilderness forty years.”
I have decided that my dragon simply doesn’t want me to take him for granted. If I stay attentive and regularly take time to read over what he writes, I can easily mend his goofs. Those church-building beavers? What I said was, “The believers…” And Claude? I said “God.” The land ravaged by hairy slugs? Should have read, “The land ravaged by horrendous floods.” And those laundering Israelites? Easy mistake. I said they “wandered in the wilderness forty years.” (I’m sure their clothes were filthy, however, so the laundering wouldn’t have been such a bad idea!)
After two weeks together, my dragon and I have come to an understanding. I will speak more carefully and correct him gently, and he will continue to learn from his mistakes.
As Dragon wrote, “Give Claude flea control.” (I said, God is in complete control.)
“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.”J.R. R. Tolkien