Smart French : learn French from real French people:
guetter (geh-tay) verb
to watch, to guard
to watch for, to lie in wait for, to be on the lookout for
to threaten; to ambush
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As promised, here is the rough-n-tumble translation of "Ma Vie de Chien." The tribute was written by Marie-Françoise Vidal (a.k.a. "Aunt Marie-Françoise"), after her dog, Jaby, made it over "Le Pont de l'Arc-en-ciel".*
My Life as a Dog
I domesticated my animal nature : instincts, needs, rhythms, and vital joy -- in order to live in your house.
I listened and learned, ears perked, to your orders and to your intonations. I understood your codes.
I knew how to constrain myself to go gently, so as not to knock over the child, the grandmother and the "petit animal à moustaches."*
From each one of you, I knew how to take or to ask for flattery and play. I loved your company, whether playful or calm.
I was proud of my duty to guard the gate, the front step, and the household, watching for intruders.
And I still had my own secret kingdom out in the garden, or while out on a walk, where I could unleash in nature the original power of my senses.
I entered into this bond with you without fear of submission -- for we gave one another respect.
When next I had to die, it was without knowing sickness or decline. I left dignified and without complaint, all the while understanding your tears.
In our exchanges, I taught you different and specific emotions : that of animalité* : those instinctual codes that you had lost. I offered you another relationship with nature.
For all of this, I am proud, and I know that you will have other dogs so as to continue this partage.*
* * *
If you would like to leave a message for Marie-Françoise, in response to her story, you can do so in the comments box below. She would be delighted to hear from you! Also: Read or listen to this story in French (halfway down story column in this post.)
Le Pont de l'Arc-en-ciel = The Rainbow Bridge (fictional place over which animals go after death); le petit animal à moustaches = the little whiskered animal (the cat); l'animalité (f) = animality; le partage (m) = sharing.
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