Shakespeare’s Other Grave

Shakespeare's Grave   On the very day it was proven that William Shakespeare’s grave had been disturbed soon after burial, I purchased Oliver, my lovely green parrot. A strange coincidence, for I came to believe that Oliver was the reincarnation of the Bard himself.
Being a Shakespearean actor, I would often practise my lines at home. To my initial amazement, Oliver would join in.
“To be or not to be,” I would intone.
“That is the question,” Oliver would squawk.
And if I began, “We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” Oliver would finish, “And our little lives are rounded with a sleep.”
This talent Oliver hid from all but me. Never once did he make a mistake.
Whenever I placed a picture of Shakespeare in his cage, he would gaze at it in fascination, chattering away indistinctly. I could never tell if he was addressing himself or the image. Once I think I heard the phrase: “Words, words, words”, infused with such longing and wistful regret that I felt compelled to leave the room and honour his privacy.
When Oliver died, he had been my friend for nearly five years. I gently placed him in a bread bin and buried him, secretly, in a place near Stratford where a willow grows aslant a brook.
My task completed, I whispered: “Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”
I half expected him to respond, but the rest was silence.

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