I asked Terry where he was born today, it was really only a passing topic. Something I expected to be brushed off, as he often does with personal questions: but I had caught him on the wrong day. This was his answer:
“Well, to tell the truth it all began when I was born. Apparently mine was unlike any birth ever witnessed, and I can attest to that; because I was there and you were not.
I came out frowning with a very serious lower lip, looked to the doctor and said, ‘Sir, do you have any idea what’s just been done?’
He shook his head and so I explained.
‘You, sorry sir, have done a terrible thing! Yes, and if you do try defend yourself I can’t imagine what I’d do. Do you not realise how nice it was in there?’
He opened his mouth in defence, but I was a keen youngster already, and I slapped him; once, then twice.
‘Now you’ve brought me out here! Where is this horrid place?’ I was almost answered, but I dismissed it with the wave of my hand.
‘Gasp! – Why, my mother looks very shocked there – Nurse, fetch her some water – Thwack! – Is that my father on the floor? – Wake him, man! He should be alert for his son’s rising – Doctor, I’ll want the driver round front.’
And then I twisted out of the deliverer’s grasp to the ground, gave a tremendous roar and stationed my feet to begin their first steps. One, two, three, four – next thing I was running down the corridors, yelling out to the other newly-borns. All that hospital’s staff, if you can ever track them down, would tell you it was an awesome sight.
‘Look! I have arrived,’ I shouted, ‘it’s all well and good now! Not since long before has the world been this good! Look!’
Applause and cheery cries met my announcement. However, I rounded the last corner and saw a nasty sight leaving the closest room.
‘Someone move that giant toad, I tell you! Someone! Nurse! Doctor! Anyone!’
Bash! Topple! Crack! Crash!
I had tripped and fell over some stupid fool’s foot, you see. A nurse picked me up then and returned me to my mother, and I began any young boy’s childhood.
Unfortunately, that fall masked my grandeur – and I’ve never quite gotten it back again. I’d dare to say I lived very normally for a long time, perhaps even now still.”