You asked oft how Godfrey coped, with a sister such as he was blessed, who took full advantage of her brother’s odd ways and innocence. “She got me with her pranks every time” Godfrey told us, but at about seven I realized Alice, disliked all things wet and gelatinous.
.The milk cow’s nose, snail trails, head cheese, blood sausage, oysters fresh not yet grilled. It was my weakness, sighed Alice when in later years was asked. “When Godfrey knew that I knew he knew, he sought out things in jelly likely to send me reeling with “The Grue”.
Where I brushed my teeth he left the cold remnant of a roasted Turkey’s tail underneath. A tin of dog food he would beg cheap, and wave a spoonful neath my nose when I was asleep. I suppose in retrospect I deserved it, for all the torment I heaped on him with beets.
Very bright she was in school work and games, Alice did not ever fail or lose. Expelled for “Disgraceful Propensities”,she said “I had no choice but to go, how the Tapioca Pudding got into my teachers purse I do not know”. Oh my gravy, Godfrey left it to congeal and placed it in the heel of my socks. He was an odd little boy at the beach, bring me anything gelatinous he found neath shell or rocks.
Our poor Ma would sit on a log and draw as we chased each other running wild. Ma would lament only ever wanting “One nice Child”. “Oh save us muttered Ma, one dislikes beets, the other all things that are gelatinous” Every buffet at a wedding or long lunch post Funeral was a jelly-mold with peas or fruit bits from a tin. Told to behave I’d sit in dress and pantie hose, across from Godfrey, stuffing green gelatin up his nose.
And what of the things that Alice did love? Beans on toast, her own record player, singing into the wind on the steep hills above Skibereen, her Uncle Lou’s stories of life on the road with his band, oh the places Uncle Lou had been!!. “When we were older, Godfrey and I, with no one else around actually talked of many things the two of us”. But it was not forgotten, “I tormented him with beets, and he with all things wet and gelatinous”..