Sometimes, she spoke to those around her, and they said various things in response, but they didn’t quite seem to get what she was saying.
Then, one day, she realized that when she thought she was talking, she was actually barking.
While this revelation was somewhat startling in and of itself, what it implied was far more problematic: if she’d missed something so basic as the difference between barking and talking, then the task of communicating with humans was as out of reach to her as abstract algebra was to a donkey.
Perhaps it was a missing library of common psycho-linguistic symbols, or perhaps communication was happening on side-bands. Perhaps it was some bit of magic she’d lost, or some bits of magic she’d never had.
The wading pool she stood in still looked like just a little wading pool. She felt the hard plastic on her feet, and saw the brightly colored designs around the edges.
But sometimes, while she gazes at it, just before her eyes close to blink, she sees the ocean.
Not an awareness of the distance. Only a frightening awareness that her perception of the distance was completely unreliable, and that important bits of the universe were actually unfolding in a manner totally beyond her senses.
Certainly, should one find that one has sleepwalked onto a battlefield between advanced alien species wielding weaponry of unimaginable complexity, perhaps it’s best, then, to cede the ground to the aliens, and attempt to find a quiet hole to hide in, for the remainder of your earthly existence.