It would be nigh unto shooting a mockingbird if I did not speak up about my evening. After hours of laundry and proof-reading a script against a score, I was about to pack it in for the night when my divine friend, Mr. B. said, "Let's have a French lesson... now." He opened up his web browser and found this book, Quelle porcherie! I explained earlier this evening that I had gotten a French/English version of Hugo's Hunchback of Notre Dame and was attempting to learn French by reading one paragraph of English and then one of the French. The trouble is in getting the pronunciation. I have yet to find a French audio-book version of Hunchback. Which is a little pathetic and a lot ironic since the damn thing was written in FRENCH. You can listen to several translations of English, including a couple of dramatized versions. You can listen to it in Italian and Spanish. You can listen to it in Swedish, both abridged and unabridged. Français? Non.
So B. opened this beautifully illustrated children's book. I read aloud. He corrected my pronunciations. He gave me history lessons about how certain phrases came into existence. We laughed our heads off at some of my pronunciations and a story of one weird wittle piggy who is very clean and sits alone in his room (surrounded by books). His family pays little attention to him and they are, you know, pigs. They lie around all day asleep and are slovenly creatures. (I would like to point out that this is a myth. Pigs are actually quite clean if given the chance.) Anyhoo, one day at school, Franklin - the weird loner pig - paints a picture of a beautiful rainbow and wins first prize. His father loves it. His mother loves it. His grandfather loves it. They want to hang it on the wall. They want to CLEAN the wall to make an aesthetically pleasing background for their child's prize-winning art. Then of course they want to clean the floor... and so on. They have a picnic and invite friends. They all take a BATH with oodles of bubbles. A happy family of pigs from art.
That's my kind of art. And that's my kind of family.
Thanks, B! I am tickled with happiness at reading my very first French book. I have been blessed with amazing teachers in my life. And they have come to me in a myriad of disguise. I love them ALL, dearly.