The Tortoise and the Hare - Bilingual edition! Order here.
le lièvre (lee evr) noun, masculine
synonym: le bouquin = buck rabbit
Terms & Expressions:
un bec-de-lièvre = hare lip
C'est là que gît le lièvre = that's the crucial point
lever/soulever un lièvre = to hit on a problem
chasser deux/plusieurs lièvres à la fois = to attempt to do two/several things at once
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse
Aunt Marie-François stopped by yesterday, on her way home from work. "Viens voir ce que j'ai dans la voiture," ("come see what I have in my car,") she said.
I followed my belle-tante out to the vines beside which her voiturette was parked. I watched as she opened the passenger-side door, then reached into the car and carefully pulled out her wicker panier. Inside there was a smaller basket lined with cotton. And there, in the center, was a nouveau-né.
"Do you know what it is?" She, already knowing the answer, quizzed me. My guess was a cochonnet, given the shape of its face and its round ear.
"Aha! Mais..." my aunt said, gently turning the newborn to its side. And there I saw an elongated ear....
"C'est un bébé lièvre!"
"The maman must have bitten off the other ear while cleaning off the placenta," Marie-François guessed.
She told me the story of how Uncle Jean-Claude found the abandoned newborn in the vines, while prepping for the harvest over in Chateauneuf du Pape.
Aunt Marie-Françoise and I stared at the little rescapé who, she tells me, is drinking pharmaceutical cat formula (with the help of a pipette) every two hours. "If it's good enough for cats," Marie-François reasoned, "it's good enough for him."
"What will you call the orphan?" I asked, suppressing the urge to tickle its fuzzy chin or to so much as touch the weak infant.
"I haven't thought of a name," she admitted. I guessed this had something to do with the delicate state of its health. Would the little lièvre survive?
"Why not call him Pierre?" I offered, thinking of the plucky Peter Rabbit.
My aunt giggled, softly. This little one would indeed need pluck... along with oodles of luck!
"It's true that we found him in a pierraille..." she considered. "We could call him Pierrot!"
"That's it, Pee err oh!" I seconded, sounding the soft nom de guerre. May he be a fighter!
My aunt looked doubtful and her eyes turned tender as tears.
"On verra...." said she, setting Pierrot down in his basket, ever so quietly.
Le Coin Commentaires
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la belle-tante = aunt-in-law
la voiturette = little car
le panier = basket
le/la nouveau-né(e) = newborn
le cochonnet = piglet
c'est un bébé lièvre = it's a baby hare
la maman = mother
le/la rescapé(e) = survivor
une pierraille = place, yard with loose stones
nom de guerre = literally "war name"
on verra = we shall see
French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.
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In books: I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany
Exercises in French Phonics is...
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Cat curtains. Photo taken in Tulette, while strolling through the village with my friend (and newbie harvester) Sandy.
In French film: Le lièvre de Vatanen
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