Over thirty years ago I read a short story where a virus had accidentally made all humans stupid and animals smarter. Civilization had then crashed. A sub-intelligent teenage boy and his very smart talking dog-girlfriend [was there a raccoon in this story?] somehow crash a truck [?] into a building where unaffected human scientists are keeping safe. Somehow this releases the cure for the virus. The story ends with the boy suddenly getting smarter, while the dog goes back to 'normal'. I could have any part of this wrong, memory being what it is. I checked and I'm pretty sure it's not Harlan Ellison's A Dog and his Boy. Can you identify it?

  • It's not the Ellison story. (By the way, it's titled "A Boy and His Dog"; per the ISFDB, there is no other Ellison story with boy and dog in its title.)
    – sjl
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 21:14

1 Answer 1


"The Coon Rolled Down and Ruptured his Larinks, a Squeezed Novel by Mr. Skunk"

(Published 1990) by Dafydd ab Hugh.

The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world where all animals have acquired human-level intelligence and the ability to speak -- and all humans have become mentally retarded.

The title is a reference to the Xhosa language tongue twister, "Iqaqa laziqikaqika kwaze kwaqhawaka uqhoqhoqha" (translated: "The skunk rolled down and ruptured its larynx").


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