Languages Contribute to Cultural Unity

Many of you may have heard the story of the old mother mouse who one day decided to take her two recently-born babies outside for their first expedition out of her well-protected nest. Once in the grass, the mother mouse looked behind her and saw that they were being hunted by a very large cat. She quickly guided her two babies into a small crack in a fence, but to her horror the cat was following and she and her young ones were cornered, with the cat moving in for the kill. Suddenly the mother mouse ran forward toward the cat on her hind legs and in the loudest voice she could manage said: “RUFF, RUFF, RUFF.” The startled cat turned and fled. The mother mouse returned to her terrified babies and said: “Now do you see the benefits of a second language?”