Horse whisperer. Dog whisperer. Fill-in-the-blank whisperer. You hear it about people who have an affinity for a certain animal. I've even used it on my son before: lizard whisperer, bug whisperer. But really, the fundamental assumption seems to be that you can sort of tame the animal, at least for that instant -- that you fundamentally understand what's going on, from its point of view.
My son's not that kind of animal whisperer. For one, it's nearly all animals. For another thing, he doesn't tame them. He doesn't want to. "Whisperer" seems to imply that he's the one doing the talking, and he doesn't care about what he has to say with animals. He doesn't whisper. He listens. He seems to understand their otherness. If he truly bonds with an animal at all, it's in the sense that he knows they, he and the animal, are separate beings, that this is an Other -- and he loves that. He revels in it.
He doesn't pose with animals, except for once in a while when I ask him to. Usually I just catch him at it. He doesn't seem to understand that this is a special or uncommon gift.