I should know. I am one.
I love my brother to bits but when we were growing up I thought he was a pain in the butt and, as a consequence of this, some of my behavior towards him was somewhat less than charitable.
Like the time I took him for a walk and convinced him that dog poo was magic and thus he had to stand in every single pile we came across. When we returned home he got the rollicking of his life and my poor mother spent hours in the garden with a stick and a hose trying to get it all off.
My two actually get on very well (for now) but even then I see flashes of my former self in the older one. Just the other day he banished his younger brother from an entire room of the house claiming that he was playing a game set 'in the olden days and you aren't allowed anywhere near it because you didn't exist then'. Fair comment but it seemed somewhat cruel (although I am tempted to adapt this game for my own purposes and regularly banish them from the lounge where I could put my feet up, drink wine and watch trashy TV claiming that I was playing a game from 'olden days' and they didn't exist in that either).
Anyway all of this has made me reflect more and more on the cruelty I inflicted upon my younger brother.
Like the way we used to make him dress up in bikinis with tennis balls for boobs, cover him in red lipstick and talcum powder and then 'put on a show' for the assembled adults.
Or the time I nearly took his eye out with the rod from a Star Wars Y-Wing Fighter Jet. If you look at the picture below you can see the rods towards the rear of the vehicle:
These were detachable and when, one fateful day, I locked him out of my bedroom and he kept peering through the crack desperate for some company I used one of the aforementioned rods to 'discourage' him i.e. I rammed it through the key hole directly into his eye..... My mother really did lose it at this point and I have a clear memory of being shaken quite violently while she sobbed 'you've nearly blinded my baby'.
The thing is, up until having child number 2, I still thought I was in the right. He WAS a pain and he SHOULDN'T have been anywhere near 'my' bedroom and 'my' things and semi-blinding him (albeit temporarily) was an appropriate level of response.
Now I have a 'baby' of my own? Hmm well let's just say my opinion has shifted.
This brings me around to The Legend of Giant Guinea, perhaps the most long lasting (and who knows most psychologically damaging? ) of my big sister evilness.
I was obsessed by two things. Guinea Pigs and Ponies (actually I was also obsessed by donkeys, keeping chickens and the building and management of ponds but we'll leave those out for now as it gets pretty complex). So hey, why not combine the two and create 'Giant Guinea? A Shetland pony sized Guinea Pig who you could ride, keep in a stable and take show jumping! Of course the problem was that Shetland pony sized guinea pigs aren't actually available on the common market so I was without one. However, I did have a younger brother. A younger brother who, when forced to crawl around on all fours and adorn a pretend saddle, made a very good substitute.
I made him a stable in the corner of the hallway and used to barricade him in there until I deemed it time for him to be watered, fed or, indeed, taken show jumping. I think I had a bamboo cane (or perhaps it was a dressing gown cord?) which I used to use to cajole him over the fences. If he knocked one down he got a good thwack.
I must confess he was not a willing candidate for the role of Giant Guinea but a combination of brides, threats and brute force meant that many many happy hours (well happy for me) were spent with Giant Guinea.
So brother - I'm sorry.
I'm sorry for the dog poo and the bikinis with the tennis balls and the lipstick and the Y Wing Fighter Jet in your eye. But most of all I'm sorry for Giant Guinea (although I think we need to ask where mother was during all of this? Perhaps in the lounge pretending it was the 'olden days' and we didn't exist??). I know you are still haunted by the memory and the very words 'Giant Guinea' bring you out in a cold sweat and the last thing you probaby wanted was for the legend to be made public but, hey, if you didn't laugh you'd cry. Right?