troisième age


hats or chapeaux in Sicily (c) Kristin EspinasseShade in Sicily. More photos of Italy in this weekend's Cinema Vérité.

enflure (on-fler) noun, feminine

: swelling (of cheek, etc)

also enfler (to swell) and enflé = (swollen)

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Notre chien a été piqué par une abeille. Sa "bosse," c'est l'enflure d'une piqûre. Our dog was stung by a bee. His "bump," it is the swelling of a sting.


A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

"Bobbing for Bees in Elizabethan France"


Smokey is doing just fine after Friday's "stitching up" chez la vétérinaire (this following his attack by two dogs last fall. The first surgery, which left him with staples across the neck and the cheek, also left behind one stubborn wound, which would not close).  

If his furry face is swollen, this has more to do with curiosity than with surgery: on Saturday morning our Golden happened upon the honey hive!

Manque de chance! I had just fitted the one-year-old rescapé with one of those plastic head cones or "e-collars,"(e" for "Elizabethan," after the resemblance of the cone to Elizabethan-era fashion). Such space collars are designed to keep a dog from licking its wounds or, worse, from scratching them.

(We won't go into details regarding the farce involved in assembling a deceptively simple e-collar. Bref, it is a wonder more pet owners don't end up wearing them—as one does a straitjacket—for by the time the enigma of all those flaps and all those buckles has been solved, Insanity's onset is apparent in the e-cone assembler.)

Having fitted the cone around Smokey's neck, I stepped outside for some needed air in the garden, where I noticed how quickly our pup adjusted, undertaking normal activities (eating, roughhousing with Mama Braise, adventuring) unhindered by the constrictive cone circling his head.


Satisfied, I turned my back on the dogs and went about a few chores in the flower patch: the belles-de-nuit were ready for seed-harvesting and the cherry tomatoes (propped up with the help of the hollyhock's trunk) had a new crimson crop on offer. I tossed a few tomates cerises into my mouth while discovering the latest developments in the jardin.

My eardrums began to tickle and I turned to have a look at the front gate. Commotion in the periphery of my gaze had my eyes darting over to the wooden beehive, where Smokey had just stuck his head! Next, I saw our dog spring backwards from la ruche! He threw his coned head to and fro, then, on hind legs, he reached his front paws forward and began swatting (in vain...). That is when I understood or "got it": our patient had bees in his bonnet!

I took off running, my own arms flailing and swatting while a high pitch issued from deep inside of me, a mad and murderous menace directed at those bees! All that shaking and shrieking soon sent the swarm to pick on other life forms. As the bees settled on the lavender and the last of the sunflowers, I knelt down to look at Smokey's face, just beyond the not-so-protective cone.  Calm eyes starred back at me.

Stoic Smokey had not so much as yelped for help—not even when the two-legged tornado chasing him and those bees quit spinning—at which point he pushed his nose past the limits of the e-cone and kissed the dizzy woman, recognizing her as his own.


Le Coin Commentaires
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French Vocabulary

chez la (le) vétérinaire = at the veterinarian's
manque de chance! = bad luck
le (la) rescapé = the survivor
bref = in brief
la belle-de-nuit = "lady of the night" flower
la tomate cerise = cherry tomato
le jardin = garden
la ruche = beehive


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