In the town of Camaret-sur-Aygues, we had found good seats beneath the shady platane at an outdoor café when our luck took a swift turn for the worse.
Our five-month-old chiot, Braise, had curled up beneath the table, her leash attached to the leg of a bistro chair, when our son rose from the same chair, announcing that he and his sister were off to play in the vieux village behind the café.
Our golden retriever's ear trembled as she listened to the kids' voices trail off down the street. Curious, she shot up and set out to follow the children's laughter. But as she advanced, so did the chair to which she was attached!
The grating sound of the chair dragging against the stone path soon distracted our pup. Turning to discover the source of the noise, she was startled to find herself pursued by a screeching four-legged alien!
Braise's eyes shot open as she peeled out of that terrace café, the bistro chair flying off—bumpity-bump-bump—with her! The scene might have been comical if it hadn't been cloaked in what looked to be impending doom.
Braise swung left along la grand-rue, entering the town's ramparts, and continued full throttle down the pedestrian walkway. In vain, she fled the bouncing bistro chair, screaming bloody murder as only a dog can: in a gargle of excited barks. The commotion resonated throughout the town as Braise and the chair rocketed down the narrow street. Windows flew open as villagers poked their heads out of their homes to find out what the racket was about.
Terrorized by her screeching and bouncing pursuer, Braise tried desperately to outrun the chair monster, but the faster she ran, the faster it followed, menacing and angry in her tracks.
In a panic, I chased after our puppy, screaming her name. When Braise was halfway down the street, the leash snapped and the chair fell away, spinning on its side to a full stop. Braise didn't look back but turned on her paws and headed, full steam, back to the terrace café and to the busy street beside it!
It was when she rounded the corner, at record speed, that I heard the screech of tires....
BRAISE!!! I screamed. BRAISE... With my heart in my throat I raced around the corner. It was her tail that I saw first...
Her lovely wagging tail! Next I saw the sparkle in my husband's eyes, lucky stars of thanks that our dog had stopped just short of the oncoming car. Braise, elle l'a échappé belle.
Click here to suggest edits for story! Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
l'échapper belle = to have a narrow escape (and avoid an accident)
A Message from Kristi on this blog's 19th anniversary
Thank you for reading this language journal. In 2002 I left my job at a vineyard and became self-employed in France. "French Word-A-Day" has been my full-time occupation ever since. Ongoing support from readers like you helps keep this site ad-free and allows me to focus on writing. My wish is to continue creating posts that are educational, insightful, and heart-warming. If my work has touched you in any way, please consider supporting it via a blog donation.
Ways to contribute:
1. Send a check
2. PayPal or credit card
3. A bank transfer, ZELLE is a great way to send your donation as there are no transaction fees.
Or purchase our online memoir, The Lost Gardens