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Why keep in touch with them? That’s what I want to know,’ asked Larry despairingly. ‘What satisfaction does it give you? They’re all either fossilized or mental.’ ‘Indeed, they’re not mental,’ said Mother indignantly. ‘Nonsense, Mother… Look at Aunt Bertha, keeping flocks of imaginary cats… and there’s Great-Uncle Patrick, who wanders about nude and tells complete strangers how he killed whales with a penknife…They’re all bats.

Gerald Durrell