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dr. mark birnbaum pianist      teacher      scholar      mark      lucifer


eye to eye with monty
Eye to eye with Monty

In [] of 2005, Doc took in a small tortoise whose owner was neglecting him. Doc calls him Torty, Torty-Monster, Torty-Mongrel, and [], but I call him Monty. To see Doc with Monty is to see Doc at his sweetest. He lavishes Monty with affection, tending to his every whim, feeding him, stroking him, bathing him. Monty has everything for which a tortoise could want— a heated rock, a box on the terrace, a towel, and a gift bag to inhabit under the piano.

Monty is about two years old, and may grow to be as much as one foot long. Monty is a tortoise of great musical discrimination. When he* hears something he likes, he rocks his front legs back and forth, bobbing his head from his shell. Although Monty is often shy in the presence of company, I am so fortunate that he considers me a friend. He often is out of his tank when I come for my lesson, and he is happy to let me pet him, sometimes even rocking in approval.

*We presume Monty to be a "he," but we don't really know. It's equally possible that Monty is a "she."

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© 2006 Karen Olson