Monday 17 November 2008

Pauvre Papa Souris

This arrived today, courtesy the wonderful Abebooks.

A distant memory vividly restored, of my first lessons in French at the age of 7.
Described in the preface as a way of making learning,
' French a pleasure to children instead of the tedious task it too often is.'

All starts sweetly enough as we are introduced to Madame Souris in her petite maison with its fleurs, une, deux, trois, quatre.
We meet her children, Louis and Yvonne on page 6 and see all their toys.

But on page 8 the narrative suddenly darkens.

Ces petites souris n'ont pas de père . IL EST MORT. (my caps)
The pictures spare us none of the tragic detail.

Have you ever seen such a dead mouse? I hadn't.
Pauvre Papa Souris!
Pauvre père!
Méchant Monsieur le Chat.

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