Little lost lièvre...

   Tortoise et hare
The Tortoise and the Hare - Bilingual edition! Order here.



le lièvre (lee evr) noun, masculine

    : hare

synonym: le bouquin = buck rabbit

Terms & Expressions:
    un bec-de-lièvre = hare lip
    C'est là que gît le lièvre
= that's the crucial point
    lever/soulever un  lièvre = to hit on a problem
    chasser deux/plusieurs lièvres à la fois = to attempt to do two/several things at once

A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

Aunt Marie-François stopped by yesterday, on her way home from work. "Viens voir ce que j'ai dans la voiture," ("come see what I have in my car,") she said.

I followed my belle-tante out to the vines beside which her voiturette was parked. I watched as she opened the passenger-side door, then reached into the car and carefully pulled out her wicker panier. Inside there was a smaller basket lined with cotton. And there, in the center, was a nouveau-né.

"Do you know what it is?" She, already knowing the answer, quizzed me. My guess was a cochonnet, given the shape of its face and its round ear. 

"Aha! Mais..." my aunt said, gently turning the newborn to its side. And there I saw an elongated ear....

"C'est un bébé lièvre!"

"The maman must have bitten off the other ear while cleaning off the placenta," Marie-François guessed.

She told me the story of how Uncle Jean-Claude found the abandoned newborn in the vines, while prepping for the harvest over in Chateauneuf du Pape. 

Aunt Marie-Françoise and I stared at the little rescapé who, she tells me, is drinking pharmaceutical cat formula (with the help of a pipette) every two hours. "If it's good enough for cats," Marie-François reasoned, "it's good enough for him."

"What will you call the orphan?" I asked, suppressing the urge to tickle its fuzzy chin or to so much as touch the weak infant. 

"I haven't thought of a name," she admitted. I guessed this had something to do with the delicate state of its health. Would the little lièvre survive?

"Why not call him Pierre?" I offered, thinking of the plucky Peter Rabbit.

My aunt giggled, softly. This little one would indeed need pluck... along with oodles of luck!

"It's true that we found him in a pierraille..." she considered. "We could call him Pierrot!"

"That's it, Pee err oh!" I seconded, sounding the soft nom de guerre. May he be a fighter! 

My aunt looked doubtful and her eyes turned tender as tears.

"On verra...." said she, setting Pierrot down in his basket, ever so quietly.


Le Coin Commentaires

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 French Vocabulary

la belle-tante = aunt-in-law

la voiturette = little car

le panier = basket

le/la nouveau-né(e) = newborn

le cochonnet = piglet

c'est un bébé lièvre = it's a baby hare

la maman = mother

le/la rescapé(e) = survivor

une pierraille = place, yard with loose stones

nom de guerre = literally "war name"

on verra = we shall see 



French Demystified...simple enough for a beginner but challenging enough for a more advanced student.

Emile Henry

A French standby. Strong, durable, all Emile Henry cookware can be taken directly from the freezer to the hot oven, can go under a broiler and in the microwave; freezer and dishwasher safe. The natural clay is unsurpassed for conducting and retaining heat.


 In books: I'll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany 

Exercises in French Phonics Exercises in French Phonics is... 
" a great book for learning French pronunciation"
"useful and practical"
"high quality material, good value for your money" --from Amazon customer reviews. Order your copy here.



Cat curtains. Photo taken in Tulette, while strolling through the village with my friend (and newbie harvester) Sandy.

In French film: Le lièvre de Vatanen

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety