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A Big Family


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When I arrived Athens, a taxi driver called Stavros drove me to the Plaka from the airport. I told him I’d been to Skyros and he mentioned the wonderful, small horses on the island. The screen-saver on his phone was a photo of a horse belonging to his brother. We chatted about animals.

He told me in basic English that he has two horses, a rabbit and a 15-year-old husky. I asked if he had children.

Many, he said.

‘Four?’ I asked.

More, he said.

‘Eight?’

More, he said.

‘Ten?’

Almost.

‘Twelve?’

Yes, he said, nodding proudly in the mirror.

How does a taxi driver with two horses, a rabbit and an old husky support 12 children, I wondered. I asked if he’d had two wives.

He shook his head, confused. His dog had given birth to 12 pups.

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