283 • Gyratory care

283 • Gyratory care

The upside-down baby of Bath
Liked to stand on his head in the hearth.
Once an hour he was turned
To ensure nothing burned.
The corpse was interred at Penarth.

Bath and Penarth lying some sixty miles apart, and in different countries, the reported choice of burial-ground seems inexplicably remote: casual readers of this brief life may suspect foul play. Note, however, that the age-at-death of the subject is not stated. We cannot, therefore, rule out the possibility that – thanks to the careful rotary management described – this obstinate individual was not roasted in infancy as first appears, but rather lived to a ripe old age, perhaps being buried in Glamorganshire after serving as a wise yet eccentric pastor until the age of (let’s say) 77. Very possibly his personal charisma was such that parishioners learnt to stand on their heads as well, the better to commune with him: after all, spiritual truths are best imparted eye-to-eye.

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