Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Monty Goose

Apparently, in 'Romeo and Juliet', that famous play what Shakespeare wrote, the Capulets were in an age-old feud with the Monty Goose. It must be true. I came across it a couple of times today when I was marking Year 11 notebooks.

'The Capulets and the Monty Goose had been fighting so long they couldn't remember what it was they were fighting about,' declared Sam. Sam had also drawn a picture of a willy in the margin, so I wouldn't wholly trust his literary knowledge.
'Well, ' I thought out-loud to myself, because when I'm fully into a new term, it's something I often do. I find it makes the children keep their distance, me talking to myself. My Year 9s already think I'm off my trolley because I keep changing their seating plan.
'Why do you keep changing our seating plan?' they said today.
'Because I am seeking the ultimate combination of bums on seats, because it's my classroom, and because I can,' I said. 'Take your pick.'
'She's off her rocker,' said Chloe. Chloe may be right.

Anyway, back to the Monty Goose. Romeo was a Monty Goose. And Mercutio was his best mate, and he wore a sequinned skirt and peddled drugs at the Capulet Ball. (I keep telling them - 'Stop writing about the film! Write about the play. I do not, repeat DO NOT wish to read anything whatsoever about guns, petrol stations, fish tanks or Romeo dying in the Titanic in your essays,' I say. But do they listen? Do they heck! God bless Baz Lehrmann for his production of the play, but he hasn't half caused some issues at GCSE level.)

I decide the Monty Goose must be a fabled Shakespearean bird that has somehow escaped my attention these last thirty odd years. I think, I know who'll know about the Monty Goose. Mrs Pumphrey!

'Oh yes,' said Mrs Pumphrey when I mentioned the Monty Goose as we sat at the kitchen table working on our latest joint sewing project of an applique shower curtain. 'The Monty Goose was very well-known in Shakespeare's day.'
'How come I've never heard of it?' I said.
'Well, mostly the Monty Goose was well-hidden,' said Mrs P. 'Only an avian Shakespeare specialist such as moi would know where to find it.'
'Oh, do share,' I said, coming over a bit Jane Austen.
'Well,' began Mrs Pumphrey, 'there was a Monty Goose behind the arras in Hamlet.'
'The one Polonius hid behind?' I said.
'Yes,' said Mrs P. 'And if Polonius had taken heed of the Monty Goose, he would never have got stabbed. And you know the bit in Richard III when he cries, 'A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse?'
'Yes,' I said.
'Literally two minutes before, a Monty Goose had passed by and offered its service to the King,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'But old Dickie said, 'No! I'm not hopping on a Monty Goose. It's a most unkingly thing.'
'Idiot,' I said.
'Quite,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'And Bottom never turned into an ass in A Midsummer Night's Dream. He turned into a Monty Goose. But the spelling was lost in translation.'
'I see,' I said.
'And King Lear's youngest daughter wasn't called Cordelia at all,' said Mrs Pumphrey.
'Don't tell me,' I said. 'She was called Monty Goose.'
'No,' said Mrs Pumphrey. 'She was called Maud, but she offered to give up her third share of the land for a Monty Goose.'

I thought at this point that I'd had my fill of Shakespeare Monty Goose information and managed to distract Mrs Pumphrey with a rather lovely scrap of midnight blue velvet.

But I shall share this new found knowledge with the Year 11s tomorrow. It'll go down a treat in their exam!


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