Lingua Flanka by David M. Armstrong #DealMeIn

I’m taking part in the 8th Annual Deal Me In Short Story Reading Challenge. This week’s card came up spades, so I went to Daily Science fiction. That day’s (2/2/18) story was “Lingua Flanka” by David M. Armstrong.

prime rib

In this story, a researcher discovers a way to communicate with cows and, more to the point, to translate communications from them.

In spite of clear evidence that cows think and feel and can communicate cross-species, people continue to eat beef. Even the researcher, having proven what she set out to prove — that cows can communicate — stops her research. She’s proven her theory and technique, so she’s done. She eats beef. She denies, without acknowledging any oddity in the denial without seeming defensive about it, that cows do think and feel.

After first reading this story, I thought it underwritten to the point of pointlessness, but I changed my mind. This is why I don’t vote on stories I read online. The story is absolutely spot on about most people’s attitudes toward other species and, all too often, members of our own who don’t match our own pattern perfectly.

David M. Armstrong is a new-to-me writer. He’s written a mere handful of books but many short stories and has won many awards. I just bought one of his books through IndieBound. Go thou and do likewise.

A WRITING PROMPT BASED ON MY POST: Write about someone who acts contrary to evidence they, themselves, established.



I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Lingua Flanka by David M. Armstrong #DealMeIn

  1. Jay

    February 5, 2018 at 8:19am

    One of my favorite parts of the #DealMeIn challenge is getting to meet so many new-to-me authors. It’s almost like speed dating for readers. Spend a few pages with one author, if you like what you find, read more, or a novel. If you don’t, then spend a few pages with the next one. 🙂

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      February 5, 2018 at 9:00am

      So, so true. Thanks for getting me hooked on this challenge, Jay!

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  2. Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA

    February 5, 2018 at 11:18am

    Wait a minute, Marian.
    Since neither you nor I have found a way to communicate with these mammals, how do you know they aren’t telling her, “Eat me”?

    (I don’t think so, either. I’m just asking.)

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  3. Ian Hutson

    February 5, 2018 at 1:54pm

    Not tripped over the gentleman before, but it’s a very neat story indeed. I’ll be reading more. 🙂

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