Meet Monty.

Substantially younger siblings escape childhood by either being ignored or suffering the misfortune of being subjected to their older sister’s diabolical experiments tender guidance. My wee tabula rasa fell under the latter category.

When Kiki was eight, I introduced her to Shakespeare. If you can picture a precocious child with Christina Ricci hair (& corresponding deadpan) reciting the ‘tennis balls, my leige’ speech from Henry V, you’ve got an accurate portrait of my sister.

She followed me round like I was Beezus Quimby – not out of adoration, mind you: she had chicken pox & felt like sharing. She would march after me, trying to flip a coin, droning, ‘heads … heads … heads …ad infinitum.

I retaliated & infected her with Monty Python fever, which is all fine & good until somebody brings home a dead parrot. [She hasn’t, yet, but there’s always taxidermy.]

Anyhow, I’d not realised the extent of her mania until I toured her bungalow & bumped into Monty, here. Who is life-size. & so, the student out-crazies the teacher, or however that expression goes.

Happy birthday, ya marvellous nut! May your Shakespearean recitations of the ‘Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch’ flourish. Also, your shrubbery.

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