“One shouldn’t,” said Angel, “simply name ones children with a name you like. They should be named associated with any event or circumstance that surrounds their birth. To call someone ‘Jane’ is meaningless. One could choose the weather of the birth day instead with Rain or Sunshine or Cloud or 90%-Chance-of-Precipitation. One could choose world events and come up with names such as Africa or Iran or Qurghonteppa, depending on the news. One could call a boy (or even a girl) Arachnid if there was an infestation of spiders at the time; even Funnel Web or Chilean Recluse.
The exciting thing was that Angel was expecting twins. She secretly hoped that they would be born on the very day they were expected: the first day of May. That way she would name them May and Day. (Twins should always rhyme where possible).
But they weren’t born on the expected day. Angel named them according to the events in which they were born. One has to be honest. One has to be true to oneself. Mother and I-Feel-like-Shit-Warmed-Up and Snot are doing well.
Nerissa and Jessica were twins. Their mother had died when they were almost three years old. They were separated and had lost touch. Both treasured a photograph of their mother. In fact, for both of them, the image of their mother in the photo had supplanted any vague memory they might have had of her. Their sole physical memory of their mother was “stolen” from the photo. Both remembered having a twin but had no image in the head to go with it.
In her mid-twenties Nerissa decided to track down Jessica. It was an easy thing to do because both had kept their names. They discovered that they lived on opposite sides of the country. Eventually a meeting was arranged!
They met in the middle. The wait was nerve-wracking. And there they both were! It was as if they had never been apart. They were as identical as twins could be, despite been reared in different environments. They had the same sense of humour and the same dress sense and the same hair style. And even though they both spoke in different accents, they both had the same interests and talked about the same things. You couldn’t have shut them up if you tried!
Jessica had brought the photograph of her mother. So had Nerissa!
It wasn’t the same photo. Both photographs were of a different woman altogether.
Bernice had twins. She didn’t have a clue who the father was. What’s more she didn’t care. She was simply happy to have the twins and to spend all day look after them.
Once a dog – it looked pretty wild – approached, but Bernice shooed it off. It’s amazing how motherhood makes one protective. Normally she’d be terrified of a wild-looking dog.
Trying to feed twins was a hassle. Apparently it’s time-consuming enough with just one. Not ever having had just one, Bernice wouldn’t know. Two was exhausting, and yet she wouldn’t swop her role for all the world.
Bernice knew how quickly babies grow up. Soon the calves would be taken away and she’d be put out to the bull to start the process over again.
Mahalia and Tahlia were identical twins. Mahalia was called Mahalia, and Tahlia was called Wugs. No one seemed to remember why.
As to which one was born first, only their parents knew, and they wouldn’t reveal it. “It’s not a question of who came first, and who came second,” said their mother. “You’re twins. You’re the same age.”
Somehow, however, it mattered to Wugs and Mahalia. Try as the twins might, their parents would not reveal even a hint.
Mahalia and Wugs decided on a secret pact: they would decide themselves as to which was the older. They would cook their parents a meal. A dish each. The dish first tasted by either parent would indicate the cook of it to be the first one born. It was a silly game, they knew, but what the heck! As long as their parents didn’t know in advance. It was a bit of fun for the eleven year olds. They played games like that all the time. It was like magic.
Wugs cooked a beautiful soufflé with bits of bacon and Swiss chard. Mahalia cooked crumbed drumsticks with peppery spices. They put them on the table.
Dad tucked into a drumstick at the exact same moment as Mum tasted the soufflé.
“I suppose it’s a question,” said cunning Dad to the twins, “as to which came first: the chicken or the egg?”