— Clifford D. Simak, Highway of Eternity
Highway of Eternity (1986), Context: He stirred again, halfway between sleep and wakefulness, and he was not alone. Across the fire from him sat, or seemed to sit, a man wrapped in some all-enveloping covering that might have been a cloak, wearing on his head a conical hat that dropped down so far it hid his face. Beside him sat the wolf — the wolf, for Boone was certain that it was the same wolf with which he'd found himself sitting nose to nose when he had wakened the night before. The wolf was smiling at him, and he had never known that a wolf could smile.
He stared at the hat. Who are you? What is this about?
He spoke in his mind, talking to himself, not really to the hat. He had not spoken aloud for fear of startling the wolf.
The Hat replied. It is about the brotherhood of life. Who I am is of no consequence. I am only here to act as an interpreter.
An interpreter for whom?
For the wolf and you.
But the wolf does not talk.
No, he does not talk. But he thinks. He is greatly pleased and puzzled.
Puzzled I can understand. But pleased?
He feels a sameness with you. He senses something in you that reminds him of himself. He puzzles what you are.
In time to come, said Boone, he will be one with us. He will become a dog.
If he knew that, said The Hat, it would not impress him. He thinks now to be one with you. An equal. A dog is not your equal...