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Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with producer Alex Blumberg and his parents about a bad dog they once had, and how nothing—not getting hit by cars, attacked by bigger dogs, or being shipped off to live on a farm—could stop this dog from coming home. "The Cat Came Back" is sung by Nedelle Torrisi.

Act One: Parrot

This parrot story began as a journalism school assignment. Then, for reporters Alex Lane and Eric Holm, it became something much bigger.

Act Two: Pig

A friend tells Jonathan Goldstein how a trip with a pot-bellied pig ended up revealing his character and making his girlfriend leave. Jonathan Goldstein is the host of the radio show Wiretap on the CBC, where a version of this story originally aired.

Act Three: Combo Platter

David Sedaris reads a new story that explores the age-old question: Can a parrot and a pot-bellied pig find happiness in a world that only wants to pigeon-hole them? David's most recent book is Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with Andy Woolworth, an executive vice president in charge of new product development at the world's largest manufacturer of mousetraps, Woodstrean Corporation, in Lititz, Pennsylvania. About once a month, Andy is contacted by someone who thinks he's invented a better mousetrap.

Act Two: Hello Kitty

A story by David Sedaris about what happens when natural enemies meet, in an Alcoholics Anonymous program, in prison. This story appears in David's collection of animal fables Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk.

Act One: Repeat After Me

A story by regular contributor David Sedaris involving his sister Lisa, a secret, and her very understanding parrot. David read this story live, and it's on his CD Live at Carnegie Hall. The story is also published in his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim.

Act One: Duki

The story of a typical American family, and how their family dynamic has reorganized itself around an imaginary duck, invented in childhood, who somehow stayed alive well into adulthood.  (14 minutes)

Act Three: Chicken Diva

Yet another testimony to the power chickens have over our hearts and minds.  Jack Hitt reports on an opera about Chicken Little.  It's performed with dressed-up styrofoam balls, it's sung in Italian and, no kidding, able to make grown men cry.  The official website for the opera "Love's Fowl" by Susan Vitucci and Henry Krieger is http://www.pulcina.org.

Act Four: Trying To Respect The Chicken

Ira accompanies photographer Tamara Staples as she attempts to photograph chickens in the style of high fashion photography.  The chickens are not very cooperative.  Her photos have been collected in a book, "The Magnificent Chicken: Portraits of the Fairest Fowl."  (15 minutes)

Act Three: The Ratman Cometh

What happens when a good neighbor goes bad. Katie Davis lives on a block where everyone wants to get along, and they're trying, even though one of their favorite neighbors has dozens of rats infesting her yard and attacking other houses.