baa, baa, mouton noir

My French vocabulary is improving by the hour. Baa baa mouton noir,/As-tu de la laine? Yes, sir, no, sir,/Trois poches pleines. My grandson Arthur is here for a week and he moves effortlessly from French to English in the same sentence, the same nursery rhyme. He is two but can already read confusion on his grandmother’s face when he asks me a question I can’t understand and he switches languages. Did you know that owl is “hibou”? I have a package of owl tattoos and we are all wearing them on the backs of our hands; I keep replacing Arthur’s because they have a way of disappearing. Last night, returning from dinner with friends, Arthur and his dad went out for a starry walk (when Forrest was two, it was one of his favourite things to do with his dad…). There was a little foggy moon (La lune!) and a few stars barely visible and when Forrest tried to call owls — Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all? — Arthur nervously (and sleepily) wanted to come in. A hibou is just fine on your hand but what if one approached you in the night with its eyes glowing? There are barred owls in our woods and soon they’ll be mating and we’ll hear them clearly in the darkness. By then, Arthur will be safely back in Ottawa. In the meantime, he loved looking at a video of owls this morning and didn’t blanch at the sight of one tearing a mouse apart.

watching the owl video

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