règle (regl) noun,
: rule, ruler; rule (of conduct, grammar); (règles =
listen to today's word
and hear Jean-Marc read a passage (that is: (a list of rules) from today's
A Day in a French Life...
by Kristin Espinasse
Provence, on a little crooked farm, beyond a few crooked walls... and a
crooked Christmas tree... four off-kiltered kin sit 'round a table.
need to STRAIGHTEN UP around here!" one of the crooked ones says.
pounds her fist on a crooked surface. The table is nicked, scratched,
and sullied from enough errant knives and fourchettes
that the surface
looks, on second glance, like a wall of faded hieroglyphics. The only thing
not carved into the wood are the amorous initials of the man and woman who
call this place home.
"Home!" the woman points out. "...is a cozy
respite from a crooked "outside". In here, there is order—or should be
she announces, pulling an errant sock out of her bathrobe's pocket. "And just
whose is this? And where does it belong?"
Three other members at the
tilted table look into their bowls, trying to conceal crooked smiles, but the
speaker can see their reflections on the steamy surface of their
Out comes The Book
. The title, written in long hand,
"The Little Book of Simple Rules"
With a crooked,
self-satisfied smile of her own, the woman straightens up in her chair and
reads the subtitle (which is, simply, a reflection of the words
above it):"Le Petit Livre des Règles Fastoches"
"Can I read?!"
the kids at the table ask and their excitement has the speaker thinking up a
new rule or two (see rule numbers "Six" and "Seven," below...).
child begins to read the rules which are written down simply, if a
—like chicken scratch (or like the scratches beneath their soup
bowls, on the surface of the table). They state, in no uncertain terms, that
Take off our shoes at the front door.
chaussures à la porte d'entrée.)Two:
Put on our slippers.
Change the empty toilet paper
(Changer le rouleau de papier toilette quand il est
Not lean back in our chair.
(Ne pas se balancer sur
Not throw clothes on the floor.
(Ne pas jeter
les habits par terre.)Six:
Not interrupt (the speaker).
(Ne pas couper la
Return borrowed objects.
(Rendre les objets
Not drink more than three cups of coffee per
(Ne pas boire plus de trois cafés par jour.)
With this last
rule, the reader interrupts himself.
"Mom... how many cups of coffee have you
"No one follows these rules!" the woman complains, and the caffeine
puts that much more "edge" into her response. With that, she sniffs, narrows
her eyes and pulls from her other bathrobe pocket a cardboard cylinder.
"Nobody ever changes the roll of toilet paper!
" she laments.
gets up from the table, walks across a room of crooked tiles, and pitches the
empty roll of papier toilette into the fire. The cardboard goes up in flames,
sending out a wave of warmth: a cozy respite from rigidity. She looks back at
her family, listens as they laugh and share the events of the day. The "Book
of Simple Rules" has been tossed aside, a safe distance from the
soup splotches that now color the table with life lived.
crooked, we all seem to line up here each night, the woman decides, "around a
square table. Maybe it's time to "join 'em," quit trying to
control everything—except for the knife: this, in time to carve our amorous
initials, encircled within a crooked heart, into the table's wobbling wooden
* * *Comments welcome
. Be sure to read the comments--even if you aren't yet leaving any. My
mom, Bill, Sandy, Christine, Pat, Marianne, (oh, it's never a good idea
to start a list of names, for I always leave dear friends out, on
accident!)--will be chatting in my absense (sp?) and sharing stories of
French Vocabulary: la
(f) = forkThank you for visiting today's sponsors
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= the golden ruleles règles de route
= rules of the roadles
règles du jeu
= rules of the gamemettre quelque chose en règle
= to put
something in orderse mettre en règle avec Dieu
= to make things right with
Godla règle de la maison
= the rule of the house (establishment)en règle
... = as a general rule...avoir ses règles
= to have one's period
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I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany
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