The Talking Animals are sentient creatures native to Fillory. Though they bare similar appearances to animals on Earth, some have human-like intelligence and are able to talk. The speech of talking animals vary from speaking the same languages as humans to having their own native language that require the services of an interpreter such as Abigail.
Sapient animals lead to a dilemma for hunters: which animals can be killed and which animals are too smart to be hunted? To answer that question, they started using magical snares that would test the intelligence of the captured animal. If the prey could answer the riddle or the question, the snare would free it. Otherwise, it is acceptable for the hunter to kill it.
Talking Animals and the Election
The first Fillorian election brought to light many unspoken problems of the kingdom, one of which being romantic relationships between humans and talking animals. No one really knew how big the talking animals population was compared to the human population. With the election, we learned that while being the ruling race, humans only have a population of 50,000 people, while there are over a million talking animals. It is their massive involvement in the election that resulted in the surprise election of the High Queen of Fillory, as she showed no judgment towards inter-species relationship. For the first time in their history, the talking animals understood the power there is in numbers.