clochette a vache


My son, Max, taming les toutous.

Harvest update: Youpie* -- Charles has arrived! After a quadruple bi-pass surgery in 2007, this is his third vendange* here at Domaine Rouge-Bleu where Charles doubles as investisseur! He just can't seem to get in enough back-breaking, knee-numbing grape-picking (and he can't get in enough greasy chips in either! Don't worry, Martha, I'll see if we can get our harvesting hands on some carrot sticks for your hubby!)

apprivoiser (ah-pree-vwa-zay) verb

    : to tame, correct, discipline... to make fit for domestic life

Verb conjugation: j'apprivoise, tu apprivoises, il apprivoise, nous apprivoisons, vous apprivoisez, ils apprivoisent  => past participle = apprivoisé

Audio File and Example Sentence: Download Wave file or Download MP3

On ne connaît que les choses qu'on apprivoise.
We know only the things that we tame.

        "Le Petit Prince," by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

A Day in a French Life...

Kristin Espinasse

The Taming of Les Toutous*

The puppies are now three and a half weeks old and, as of two days ago, we have found families for them all. Because we are giving the golden retrievers away it was not too difficult to find homes for them. The challenging part, from here on out, will be to tame those toutous--or les apprivoiser. We have another four to five weeks to live in harmony... or in havoc... together.

As for the training of the pups, their future owners already have plans for them...


One of the six chiots* will become a French truffle expert, trained to snuff out the most fanciful fungi! Can you tell which one of the pups is already showing potential in this field? Sniff, sniff, sniff, renifle, renifle, renifle*...


A chicken farmer claimed the second puppy, which will, dorénavant,* be in charge of the two thousand chicks that were menaced, last year alone, by sixty-eight renards* (or was that one renard and 68 attentats*?).... (No worries: the new owner assures us that the pup will mostly be in charge of playing with the children on the farm.)


Two of the puppies will déménager* to Marseilles, from where their father hails.... We do not know what kind of specialists, if any, they will become. Shall we try to devine?: Fishmonger? Policier?* Or mascot for the Marseillais Ballet? Wait a minute -- opera! -- yes, this one (center stage, below) looks as if she were practicing already.


One of the pups will move to a neighboring town to be with a family of four whose own venerable Golden just passed...

...and one of the babes -- the only one who has been named so far -- will stay with us. Can you guess its name? Here are a few hints: the prenom* is in theme with its mother's name ("Braise") and I once knew an ours* by the same name....

That's got to be our pup, there, sliding off the side of the la botte de paille.* He's a little clumsy (it's in the genes: his grandmother failed pom-pom tryout, though his Great-Grandmother Jules was a champion cheerleader!)



It's time to thank my son, Max, for helping me with this photo shoot. He had his hands full trying to keep those puppies on board (or "on botte")!

...and was all-too relieved when Maman* returned to the fold.

Note: If you have recently signed on to this word journal, then you may have missed the story about how our dog escaped in the bustling city of Marseilles with her new fiancé (the father of those puppies). It is a three-part story that animal-lovers might appreciate. (Plus, see photos of the puppies father!)


~~~~~~~~~~~French Vocabulary~~~~~~~~~
= yay; la vendange = wine, grape harvest; le toutou (m) = doggie; le chiot (m) = puppy; renifle (renifler) = sniff (to sniff); dorénavant = from now on; le renard (m) = fox; un attentat (m) = attempt to harm; déménager = to move; le policier (femme policier) = policeman (policewoman); le prenom (m) = (first) name; un ours (m) = bear; la botte (f) de paille = bale of hay; maman (f) = ma, mom




  1.  The Ultimate French Verb Review and Practice
  2.  Exercises in French Phonics
  3. French Bingo (ages 3+)
  4. Lego Eiffel Tower model stands more than 3-1/2 feet tall


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