Tuesday, 19 August 2008

The Monkey and the Parrot


Here are three little girls
in matching floral anoraks
on a wet May Day in Padstow.
My sister D holds the monkey
and my sister B is under the parrot
I stand there wishing I could hold the monkey...

There are some days that stand out in your childhood.

Now, many years later, my sister B is a senior midwife
but she still remembers the weight of the parrot.
My little sister D has a successful business
and a gallery specialising in Cornish Art
not far from that Padstow quayside.

And me? I can't let go of that moment.
Oh! How I wanted to hold the monkey!

But I was the oldest and I knew
I had to be grown-up.
Sigh...

13 comments:

Lynn said...

Oh, the burden of being the oldest! I still can't believe my little sister got to pitch a fit and eat Cheerios (with a generous dollop of sugar) for dinner while I had to eat the official fare. Cruel! (You and your sisters were beyond adorable; what a wonderful photo!)

Gina said...

Ah I was the oldest too. Often life seemed unfair but I have I similar picture of my brother and me and I got to hold the monkey because he was scared! It's not all it's cracked up to be... you didn't miss much!

kristina said...

What a wonderful picture. I recognized you straight away. I was an only child, but I think I would have been too scared to hold the monkey! K x

Ali said...

A wet day in Padstow.... something timeless about that statement.

As the youngest sibling, I too was a monkey holder. I like to think it has stood me in good stead for later life.

silverpebble said...

That photo and Gina's comment made me smile! The monkey was probably a bit niffy anyway!

peppermintpatcher said...

I am the eldest of three girls too!

Don't you also remember that time when you could no longer be carried, but your sisters could. Or you could no longer lay out flat on the couch but your sisters could. Or you could no longer look cool riding the tricycle, but your sisters could.

It is very tough work being the eldest. I would let you hold the monkey...

Anonymous said...

what would Peter Sellers have made of all of this ?

Dragonfly said...

Me too! The eldest of three girls! I may not have held the monkey, but as the eldest I did get to wear the nurse uniform from our dressing-up box when my parents brought my youngest sister home from hospital!
PS. I did get to hold a monkey a few years ago...I didn't miss much!

Sarah S. said...

What a fun picture. I have no sisters. Just three brothers. You are the lucky one having sisters to talk to. having three brothers and being the only girl made me the receiver of many wedgies and lots of general gross boy pranks.
I did learn to run really fast though! :)

farm mom said...

Ah, I was the oldest of three as well. I was/am the "responsible" one. Which was a forced responsibility as a child, but I appreciate it now, as an adult. I have to admit though, I take great care to let Aden be just as irresponsible and childlike as Ethan!

monica said...

oh yes. Me too. And you know what? to this day I have still held true to the promise I made myself many many years ago: I have never said to my first child "blah blah blah because you are the oldest you have to understand"

God I hated that phrase.

RW said...

Gosh. I too, am the eldest of three daughters. How wierd is that!

pebbledash said...

I love this post....not least because you've reminded me I have a family photo of myself and my three older sisters at Lee Bay with monkeys...I know I was holding one, don't remember about the others. Must dig it out! I think wherever you fall in the sibling line-up there are advantages and disadvantages.