Now that we have that out of the way...
Congratulations to Monika the Donkey on her retirement. Monika steps down after 19 years with the Maryinsky Ballet Company (Kirov) of St. Petersburg. Her signature role was in the ballet Don Quixote in which she carried Sancho Panza. Reuters reported that at the 21 year-old's farewell party Monika waltzed with one of the company’s ballerinas and was given a carrot cake, a pinafore and a kerchief.
"She sometimes nodded her head to the music, and drew some of the attention from the ballerinas. We sometimes told her off about that," ballerina Anastasia Kolegova told the BBC.
You can read more about Monika, and see a video clip, on the BBC's web page.
Quote of the day: "Toe dancing is a dandy attention getter, second only to screaming."-Agnes deMille