Tuesday, January 27, 2009


A couple of years ago I wrote about the previously cantankerous Henry. Henry, after having what was possibly a cancer removed from his bottom, recovered with a changed personality. He then developed an interest in the opposite sex for the first time, and great things were expected of him. Someone has to keep the family genes going.


Finally, at the age of 111, Henry has become a father. I was delighted to read this news at first, but then I noticed something rather surprising and, I must say, disappointing:

... he mated with 80-year-old Mildred last July and 11 of the eggs she produced have now hatched



Who is Mildred?

What happened to Henry's first love, the young and lovely Juliet? How could Henry had forgotten her so quickly? How could he have been so fickle? I could not believe it.

But when I got to the end of the story, I read this:

He lives with three female tuatara "in great harmony", said Mr Hazley, and described the hatching of the eggs as "the completion of a love story".

Juliet's name was not mentioned, but I have chosen to believe that Juliet is his FIRST wife. The other two – including Mildred – are only extras. Henry was being considerate. Juliet is, after all, only twenty. She needs a little time to sow her wild oats before settling down with babies. Mildred is eighty, and is far more suited to motherhood.

So it is all good. Mildred can stay home and take care of the children, and Juliet can go out on the town and live it up. She is too young for the heavy responsibilities that come with motherhood, especially the motherhood of eleven children all at once. After all, there are a lot of dangers out there for the babies, especially from their teenaged relatives.

Also, there has to be some benefit to being First Wife.


Keera Ann Fox said...

I know this story deserves some other comment, like maybe Mildred started a vicious rumor about Juliet and that's why Juliet got jilted, but all I find myself wondering is: How do they know Henry's 111???

Badaunt said...

They counted the candles on his birthday cake, of course!

Actually, I remember the last time they wrote about him there was some doubt, and they settled on something, I don't remember what. But it looks like the latest story just added the required number of years to the random number they settled on then. All we really know is that Henry is OLD.

I saw a tuatara at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary when I was in Wellington early last year. (A place I heartily recommend visiting if you ever happen to find yourself in Wellington.) There was a noticeboard where you could note where you saw tuatara. I went to write the tuatara's location on the noticeboard, but it was already there, from a couple of days earlier. Tuataras do things slowly. Moving. Breeding. Aging ...