Friday, January 18, 2013
A troupeau of sheep grazing on another pasture. Photo by Jean-Marc.
la brebis (breh-bee)
brebis égarée = lost sheep
Audio File: (check back later for the recording)
Il avait eu une époque où il croyait que ses brebis pouvaient tout lui apprendre sur le monde.
There had been a time when he thought that his sheep could teach him everything he needed to know about the world. —Paulo Coelho
The Lost Sheepherder
"What's that?" I turn off the tap, and set down the greasy sauteuse I am washing. Straining to hear my husband, I wonder if he thinks these are bionic ears, the way he's always chatting me up from the other side of thick stone wall.
"I said he will give us a sheep if we want one."
Our own mouton? My mind conjures up an Arcadian scene. I see a handsome and friendly grazer roaming our land all year long, living amidst age-old olive trees, the stone borie, and a soon-to-be-planted vineyard. As much as I like the picture, I remember my neighbor's frustration with her own sheep and goat. Du soucis! du soucis! she shakes her head, whenever I ask about the pastoral pests.
"Oh... I don't think that's a good idea," I call back to my husband. "We already have Smokey and Braise to look after...."
"The sheep the berger is offering isn't for looking after," Jean-Marc corrects me. "C'est pour manger!"
My husband laughs at my misunderstanding. "And by the way," he adds, "I read your berger story and those aren't moutons you are referring to... Ce sont des brebis!"
Brebis! Of course! How unfortunate--as it was just the word I had been searching for in order to avoid so many "mouton" references in my story. But more than a synonym, I needed to once and for all understand that mouton did not refer to all sheep... only mature male sheep!
Oh what do I know? I don't know anything.... I often think of that memorable declaration, made by a dear (and now estranged) friend. I will never forget her lively demonstration, which came after I had complimented her on her wise and gentle mind. Rejecting the compliment, she reached up and began pulling wildly at her hair. Shaking her head with the help of her hair-gripping hands, she put the matter straight, I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING!
I often recall that scene, and the humbling truth behind her message. No matter how many degrees she held, or how many books she had written, and no matter how spiritual she was, she focused not on how much she knew, but on just how little she comprehended.
The shepherd shook his head, étonné, and I realized that he was clearly unfazed by the harsh weather.
Duh. He was a sheepherd afterall! A nomad, an all-weather wanderer, not some sort of sunny day sissy. Besides, who was I to assume, and what did I know about his taste in temperature? Just because I couldn't stand the cold and rain, didn't mean others couldn't tolerate it.
Standing beyond our doorstep, the berger was asking for some exact dimensions regarding the boundaries of our land.
"Attendez," I said, grabbing my raincoat.
Outside, I hurried along a muddy trail, trying to keep up with the shepherd. After pointing out the boundary lines, I was slow to return home. I had so many questions for the berger, but didn't know how to ask them.
I pointed to his dog. "Noushka? C'est ça?"
"Non, her name is Mieszka," Like the first Polish king.
I gathered Mieszka was the shepherd's endearing queen. Having played the dog card twice, what else was there to say?
"No," he laughed. "Meat".
"Oh..." I said, wishing to change the subject, and feeling guilty for being such a hypocrite (not two weeks ago I had made côtelettes d'agneau for my son and me, to go along with the unpalatable chickpea fritters).
"You sure you aren't cold?" I asked, changing subjects.
"My nose is freezing!" He laughed. I thought about how one of those cagoules would serve him, the kind of mask skiers... or muggers.... wear.
I stole another glance at the berger, who might have been an outlaw. You never knew. He had already reminded me of one of those nonconformist types, the keep-to-themselves characters who never want their picture taken. What were they hiding from anyway? Probably les flics!
I pushed aside the chattering in my untrusting mind. What did I know? I don't know anything! How many times had I pegged an innocent for a criminal? Meantime, it was the ivy-league types that were stuffing helpless women into the trunk.
I didn't have a warm ski mask to offer the innocent berger, but I could give him something for the rain....
"Hang on!" I said, dashing back home to fetch a parapluie.
Returning, I stood with him for a few more minutes, the berger directing the umbrella over me, and I directing it back over him. If he was going to stay dry, I'd better go home.
"Would you like me to bring you some hot coffee?" As soon as I asked I realized my mistake.
"Non, merci," the berger said politely.
"The berger saga continues," Jean-Marc mumbled, and I stuck my head around the thick corner to listen to the news.
"Last night the sheep got loose and stumbled into the neighbor's yard, eating all the artichokes in the potager!"
"Oh no!" I felt terrible for the shepherd, who had spent the previous morning braving the snow, then the rain--only to face another harsh reality!
I decided to bake a yogurt cake, adding extra heapings of cocoa for comfort. With any chance, I could track down the berger and offer him something for his troubles. How, I wondered, did he find the time to shop? (Maybe he slipped off to the market, and that's when the sheep got loose?). And where did he prepare his food? And was he sleeping in that beat-up estafette?
Worried he'd soon be moving on to other pastures, I threw the cake, still warm in the pan, into the back seat of my car, and tossed the spatula on top of it. Next, I drove up and down the road, below, beyond where the sheep were grazing.
When I couldn't find the berger, it occurred to me that maybe he was napping under one of the olive trees. After all, it was l'heure de sieste. Did sheepherders doze?
I worried that if I got out of the car to pursue him, I might disturb him from a needed siesta. Then again, maybe this is where his trouble began earlier? Maybe he needed to be awakened?!
All these assumptions were getting me nowhere, and the truth was, I was too chicken to pull over and hunt down the berger.
I returned home and took the cake out of the car, hoping to find the courage to try again next time. But my failure in delivering the comfort food was really getting me down.
And then a warm thought encouraged me....
Little did the berger know—and little do we all know—that out there, somewhere, someone is trying to comfort us without our even knowing.
Read more about the berger, in the previous story.
To comment on this story, click here. These stories are never finished, and I will continue to peck at the keyboard even after hitting the publish button. If you see any typos or have any questions, feel free to join the conversation in the comments box.
le troupeau = flock, herd
le berger, la bergère = shepherd, sheepherder (more here)
la sauteuse = frying pan
le mouton = sheep
la borie = a dry stone hut, pictures here
du soucis! du soucis! = nothing but worry!
c'est pour manger = it's for eating
la brebis = ewe, female sheep
ce sont des brebis = those are ewes
The book cover that never was. (Click here to see which book covers made the cut!)
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Hi Kristi! Before I read your story, I have to comment on the above sheep photo: I LOVE IT!!! Now I will read your story.
Posted by: Marika Ujvari | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 01:17 PM
Impatiente de lire la suite!!!
Thank you soooo much!
Posted by: Adeline | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 01:18 PM
Doesn't "mouton" mean a wether, rather than a mature, male sheep?
Posted by: Mark Forster | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 01:35 PM
A mature male sheep is a bélier.
Posted by: Mark Forster | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 01:43 PM
Holy COW! So many words for sheep.
Posted by: Cyndy | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 02:20 PM
Adeline, thanks. Not sure there will be a follow up to this story... Meantime Im sitting here, eating day-old shepards cake... before it goes
bad. Still so many questions for the berger...
Mark, thanks for the correct word. Good to learn another sheep term... now to remember it!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 02:26 PM
Two heart-touching items here, brought to us by that berger: (1) Estranged friend still being credited in a loving way, and (2) Someone is out there wanting to bring us comfort without us knowing!
There is more than just a cool way to learn some French words here, just as there is more than a yogurt cake cooling in the back seat of a car somewhere in that exquisite place so far from my world.
Posted by: Mary | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 03:47 PM
This is a fascinating article/thread but I'm really confused now - can someone make a list of what the words are for the various sheep - male, female, for breeding, for meat, for milk, etc etc - please?!
When I met our local berger and spoke with him recently, he referred to the beast he had as mouton so I copied. Once I'd left him, I regretted that I hadn't asked when his moutons lamb (as it might not be the same as in the UK ).......if moutons are male sheep, it's just as well I never got to ask that question!!!
Hope someone can do a comprehensive list so I can be a bit more capable when I have my next berger conversation.
Posted by: Lorraine | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 03:57 PM
My Darling Kristi,
I love you Honey - thank you for sharing your life with me. Your beautiful mind is so refreshing, your stories so pure.
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 04:03 PM
No vocabulary!!!-I have to look up all of those words on my own? LOL!!!
Comment est-ce qu'on ecrit "LOL" en francais?
Posted by: Randy | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 04:20 PM
Mary and Mom, thank you so much. I tried to stuff all of the moments into one story, only to run out of time to share it perfectly. But this year, in addition to positive thinking, is the year of letting it all hang out!
Lorraine, good idea. I think we can get that list up soon!
Cyndy and Randy, LOL (in French MDR = mort de rire or dying laughing) Randy, Some of the vocab is posted now. Off to pick up the kids from school... then I will get to the rest.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 04:31 PM
I don't care whether it's mouton, brebis, belier or whatever...I'm loving your berger descriptions and stories, and Kristi, you are an incredibly caring and kind person. The world needs more Kristis!
Posted by: Linda Cane | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Linda :-) :-)
Lorraine, David wrote in, to help with the terms:
Bélier = mâle adulteBrebis = femelle adulteAgneau = petit du moutonAgnelle = petite du mouton
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Oh, Kristi, you've done it again...just as arrive at your last sentence, I feel the sting of little tears behind my eyelids. You are a gifted writer and a true humanist. Merci.
Posted by: Judy Stead | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I'm glad it's you and not me doing all of this work, I can't imagine producing a story this entertaining on a Friday morning, plus taking care of the laundry, cooking, cleaning, dogs, French husband, and then picking up the kids from school. Then of course I forgot you drive down to pick up Jackie at lunch-time to bring her home for a nice lunch with you and J.M. Let's see, what else, I hope you fed the dogs and watered the plants. Of course you arn't wearning any makeup, why is your hair still in a pony tail from yesterday? What do you mean J.M. has invited some of his old school chums for dinner with their wives polished to the max. Do you still shave your legs? I'm tired just thinking about your days at the rancho.
Why don't you come to Mexico and hang out in a hammock on the beach with me - it will be around 80 degrees - Papa is cooking another masterpiece dinner......
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Thanks for your portrait of someone who is still living a now all-but-forgotten way of life, one that was so common long ago and is such an important part of our culture (sacrificing lambs, shepherds abiding in the field, Christ the shepherd and the lamb). I would love to see a Part 3.
And thanks for sharing the humble, loving, and generous spirit that shines through all your writing.
Posted by: Teresa | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:42 PM
First, if we knew everything then there would be nothing to learn. Very sad.
Now, I am so glad you made an attempt at getting to know the berger. Don't quit now. Tomorrow make some hot coco or coffee and some cookies or something and go find him. I just know he has something to teach you. And as I said before, take your camera. Ask if you can take some photos of the sheep. Just do it. For you.
Posted by: joie in carmel | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Mom, that sounds so good to me! I have worn the same sweater (yours) since Monday, and for the week before that (I admit)--all for the love of writing (to write or to dress? To write! But oh how I would love to dress, too..). Judy Feldman, who sometimes comments here, sent this inspiriting article -- good for anyone who is madly passionately crazily in love with writing (or just the idea of writing): http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/01/the-art-of-being-still/?emc=eta1
It is a juggle to keep the house from falling apart when pursuing the words that will turn into stories with a lot of thought grease. Thank you, Judy S. for your positive feedback (I am enjoying your site at the moment :-)
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Joie, you are as bad as my mom, nudging me out the door like that! We were talking about your previous comment, over the phone last night. Mom: Did you see Joie's comment? Me: Well that is all I need -- TWO YOUs!
I was telling Bill, who also nudges, and who edits these missives after they are published (I know, a little backwards, the editing process here!) that I heard the shepherd calling, from the field below, as I typed my story this morning. I was torn between meeting a self-imposed writing deadline and stealing out to get to know the berger. Obsession won over (needed to meet the self-imposed demand!) and I sat typing the story--when the REAL STORY--the potential follow up story--was unfolding outside.
Here is to continued growith, in writing, in living, in reaching out and stretching behind self-imposed limits. Thanks for your support.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Would you please ask our precious bergere if he is on Facebook because your Mom wants to be friends. Also we should collect some wonderful items to give him next year for Christmas from all of his new FWAD fans....let's start off with a skimask to keep his sweet nose warm. I need his itenery (sp?) so we can keep track of him. If I were there I would be setting him up with his own movie camera for some great real life video's of his journey's all over France.
I will adopt him - please tell me his name - let me into his life.
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 06:07 PM
I can't stand the suspense, did you go out on your patio off your bedroom and look over the fig tree down into the meadow with the olive trees? Is la bergere down there in your little meadow with all of the sheep today? I have been watching 'sheepherding videos' this morning and I have a great one to send to you...can you post it here in the comments box?
You have stirred up my blood once again...it's a good thing you do this to me every few months - I think the last time you really woke me up was when you challenged all of us to write a book in 30 days. I loved that experience, I felt so alive during that entire process.
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Mom, yes, yes, and yes. He was beyond there, across the two lane road, in the neighbors field. I heard all the punctuated, coded whistles and wondered what he was saying to his flock, who bleated back. I hope he will be back tomorrow. Re the video, your pick is so you! http://youtu.be/qniwI2hNhDs
Here was my sheep video pick (much longer and without the fireworks!): http://youtu.be/JZcUEJr6psE
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 06:51 PM
Sheep can indeed be tricky to raise. I have a dear friend near me, a fellow physician's wife, who tutors special education students out of her home and raises a small herd of sheep on her own. She admits they are tricky. A good book series to read if you want to know more is the James Herriot series - "All Creatures Great & Small". I remember him writing about the problems farmers encountered with sheep.
Posted by: Marcia Douglas | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 06:52 PM
I have seen those flocks of sheep on our mountains here in Utah. The lovely dogs the sheepherders have-- And looked upon their mobile "wagons" where they live. I've wondered what kind of life that is.
Your picture is beautiful. Your story is so heartfelt and loving. The conclusion to this story warmed my heart as you just couldn't imagine. I needed that this morning. Maybe every morning. God bless your efforts to be kind. You are loved by total strangers!, but not really strangers. Thank you so much for letting us into your life.
Posted by: Jean Creighton | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 07:04 PM
As I understand it, "agneau" means lamb in general, while "agnelle" means ewe-lamb.
"Agneau" only means a male lamb if specifically contrasted with "agnelle", e.g. deux agneaux et trois agnelles. In other words they are used much the same way as we use the words "dog" and "bitch".
And while we're on the subject of lambs, don't forget "un agnelet" a little lamb.
And to sum up the other sheep words:
les moutons = sheep in general (les moutons et les chèvres = the sheep and the goats)
le bélier = ram
le mouton = a wether - castrated male for eating as mutton
la brebis = ewe
le brebis = sheep's milk cheese, e.g. Le Brebis de Wavreumont
Posted by: Mark Forster | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Kristi Darling -
Now to solve your problem with MAX ditching his math class test and being a typical teenage $#?+ !!! - instead of grounding him sign him up with la bergere for the exact number of days he would have had his ski trip with his boyfriends ... I wish I was there to stir the airparticles with all of my wisdom after raising your sister. Of course you were the angel - Heidi is the one who turned my hair white.
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 07:07 PM
And here's a proverb using your new vocabulary: "Qui se fait brebis, le loup le mange." He who acts like a ewe gets eaten by the wolf. I googled it to check my recollection, and one site translated it as "nice guys finish last."
The other thing these stories brought to mind was Georges Moustaki's Eden Blues, with the line, "les garçons gardent les troupeaux."
Love your Mom's choice of herding videos--note that you can tell from the men's names that this was done in Wales. Incredible planning (long winters?) and amazing sheepdogs.
Posted by: Mara in Wisconsin | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 07:51 PM
My father loves to tell the story about the time he asked a friend to borrow a couple of his sheep to eat the weeds in our horse pasture. Instead, he brought the whole herd and they ate everything, wild shrubs and small flowering trees included! During their visit, they escaped through a hole in the fence into the neighbor's pasture. My father repaired the opening and tried to bring them back through the gate. But, as sheep will, one followed the other...only right back to the no longer open hole in the fence. It was quite a fiasco!
You have a big and thoughtful heart Kristi!
Posted by: Melanie | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 08:08 PM
what a cute story Kristin...I remember when we were little we all would cry when a farmer would bring a sheep to our family for eating...it was a disaster xx
Posted by: Mona | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 08:27 PM
Our dear Kristi,
Another wonderful story(!!)(and photo!),finished off by these terrific replies and responses between you and dear Jules!
You have such a gift of words; what a privilege for all of us to be included in your life! This entire berger/brebis adventure gives us inspiration to reach out a hand of friendship ,even to those with whom we might think that we don't have much in common with.
Once again you've started our weekend off in the happiest way, wrapped in smiles.
LOve, Natalia XO
Posted by: Natalia | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 08:34 PM
Melanie, what a disaster! (one that brings a smile, though! )
Mara, really enjoyed the proverb you shared. Something to think about. Watch out nice guys!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 08:59 PM
I don't know which was better - the story or all the comments posted after!! What a delight to read on a hectic Friday afternoon at work. Ok, shh, about the work part. Kristi and Jules you are so lucky to have each other and to love each other so much - cherish every second!! I am always happier after reading your blog and stories, so I think that speaks for itself. You are a ray of sunshine for all the world and you bring brightness, joy, warmth, and happiness to all your FWAD family.
Lastly, I would like to know what happened to the cake? It sounds like you ate it! I would so love some yogurt cake with lots of cocoa of course. I haven't made it yet, but it's on my to do list.
Thanks for all you do for others! Hope you and your mom have a great weekend!!
Posted by: Sandra | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Kristin, this thought just came to me, having little or nothing to do with your lovely post today. I think Jules should take a tour, here in the Western Hemisphere, to the homes of your devoted readers who have learned to love her, too! First stop ~ our home in Indiana! Wouldn't that be a hoot? This is your official invitation, Jules. (Marti and I missed you by a matter of days in 2011 ~ and were we bummed!)
Posted by: Susie | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:25 PM
We never even got to the saying, "mutton dressed as lamb", which is an insult I've read or seen in British TV/literature. Is there a comparable French phrase? I hope not as the older I get the worse that sounds. Have a good weekend and enjoy the frolliking lambs.
Posted by: Diane Young | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Marcia, I think thats a favorite of my moms... Need to read it one day (it is here on the shelf. )
Mark, Enjoying the sheep terminology.
Mom, stir those air particles. JM and i could sure use the help raising these teens! Maybe the shepherd can straighten Max out. Good idea!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:38 PM
Natalia, you are such a kindheart.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:38 PM
It is, as always, a great piece of writing, Kristin. But today the one bit of information I found "moving" is Jean-Marc reading your posts, sharing his knowledge with you, and being a participating partner in your writing. The strength, power, and creativity of two has always been evident in your words and you show your "class-act" one more time, Kristin, by sharing with your husband the way he obviously shares with you. Now THAT is a rare and special circumstance!
Posted by: Bill Facker | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 09:43 PM
p.s. Your last thought was so touching and it warms my heart to think that it is so.
Posted by: Melanie | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Just got to read your story. I am so glad you found him!!! I would love to have seen the sheep just munching away.
I too love the banter between you and Jules. Jules you are such a bright spot. I know where Kristin gets her light.
Posted by: Karen from Phoenix | Friday, January 18, 2013 at 11:52 PM
Who knew the sheep could stir up so many smiles around here? Another delightfully charming story which, along with the comments, has me in stitches! I applaud you for your efforts to offer the gift of your kindness and cake. I especially like the sweetness in which you wrapped this story up with in the end. I would love to see a photo of your berger!
Jules, here the water to the barn is frozen so I’ve been hauling water from the house to the horses stabled there. Let me say the hammock, beach, 80 degrees….sounds so very heavenly to me!
Posted by: Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Wonderful story and I loved the videos, especially the one you posted Kristi, by ArtZainak. I feel for those shepherds so alone and far from their families.
Posted by: April | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 01:09 AM
HaHa- I sure am enjoying the banter in the Comments Section today!! Is he on Facebook ??- LOL!!
I am so curious now about the lifestyle of the bergere!!! Keep us posted, please.
I'm left with a visual of you contemplating all of this while sitting on your balcony and mindlessly devouring that yogurt cake! :-)
Posted by: Karen Whitcome - Towson, Md USA | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 02:19 AM
Could there be better pictures or even a more touching story. Such an image of the cake and your trying to help and not finding the dear wet or sleeping young man. That someone is trying to care for us, to help and bring us comfort is so moving and loving. It is simply a slice of heaven! You are amazing! (hope you finished the yogurt cake!)
About 18" on Cape Cod today!
Posted by: jan greene | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 03:21 AM
Love your story and can't wait for the rest of it. I can see everything as you write. By the way, what are Braise and Smokey doing while all this is going on?
Posted by: anne wirth | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 04:35 AM
Well it's late at night for your old Mom and Pop....I just had been reading John Joie's comments and a few of our other wonderful readers...John laughed at Joie, sound just like you he said to me.
Then I showed him the sheep light movie - then I started reading John your story - I was just at the part when the sheep broke into the neighbors potager when I heard the soft rumble of and old mans snoring overtake my voice as the sheep latched on to the artichokes.
Isn't that just the way life is....Thank God that God gave me a daughter like you to keep me entertained.
Good Night Honey
Posted by: JULES GREER - PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 04:50 AM
Grrr! A couple of my responses when poof in cyberspace last night. I had written back to Mom, and Marcia, and Mark.... It is fun to keep the story going here. Thanks you all for your notes and stories. Stacy, wish we could all carry a bucket for you! Anne, Braise and Smokey were locked inside--wouldnt want them running off with the border collie. Mom, great idea, getting Max to work for the shepherd after ditching math (!!!) . Wake up Pops and wish him a good day. Xoxo
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 08:59 AM
... a little longer, but such a pleasure to read.
Posted by: Peter Jackson, Calvados. | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 12:46 PM
Reminds me of a passage in "The Little Prince": "S'il te plait, dessines-moi un mouton. ..."
Love the vocabulary; while on the subject, what kind of sheep gives laine?
Posted by: el | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 06:04 PM
I've been reading FWAD for maybe 4 or more years now (bought your first book when we were cycling through France), then got 'hooked' on the blog. Now my husband is a fan, too. But it's only been the past few months that I've been reading these ongoing posts. What a delightful way to spend this Saturday morning. I am particularly entranced by these stories about the bergere. Your last line really touched a cord in my heart. I love, love, love that insight. I'm going to reflect on it throughout the day. Thank you!
Posted by: Pat from Oregon | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 07:14 PM
I'm with Karen, giggling at the thought of the berger on Facebook. I picture him wandering the fields, checking FB on his iPad.
Posted by: Lee Isbell | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 07:58 PM
I'm reading your posts in the "wrong" order and see the berger could have Facebook, on his smartphone. A smartphone isn't a whole lot of use where I live ... reception is too poor ... so I forget about it as a tool for most of France.
Posted by: Lee Isbell | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 08:37 PM
Bonjour Kristin, je suis ravie que tout aille bien pour toi. You're a kind soul, always thinking of others. Et à la fin, le berger vous a-t-il donné un mouton...pour manger? If ever I had to "slaughter" it, I could never eat meat.
Souci est un nom masculin, sans S à la fin. Donc, c'est du souci.
Posted by: Millie | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 09:44 PM
This is one lively discussion!
I thought of le mouton in Le Petit Prince as soon as you began talking about le berger and his flock.
I miss the audio this time. I really wanted to hear the words new to me, all the particular words for mouton,
the euivalents of ram, ewe and lamb (male and female lambs). Now I know the proper word for sheep's mile cheese.
Things that happen to you, that will never happen to me -- a flock of sheep in the olive trees.
I tried this using google translate. Does it agree with how J-M uses the terms?
I have a flock of sheep. I have one ram, two ewes, and two lambs now.
French via google translate
J'ai un troupeau de moutons. J'ai un bélier, deux brebis, et deux agneaux maintenant.
Posted by: Sarah LaBelle near Chicago | Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Your story reminded me of a book I just read. It is a Young Adult book called Wonder. It's a beautiful book, and here is part of its message:
“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you wil try to act a little kinder than is necessary - the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”
Even though the berger never got his cake, the act of making it is a kindness to the universe. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by: Lee Armstrong | Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 03:04 AM
What a funny post after being away in the country this weekend spying on my sister-in-laws sheep!!!
Soggy shephards, yoghurt cake crumbs, and counting sheep...moutons...brebis...... zzzzzz!!!!!
John-Marc.. love your photo and it is certainly a lot greener over your part of the world than it is near Junee!! Lucky sheep! :-)
Posted by: Gretel | Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Mom did you see Susies proposition! (Mom must be jumping up and down, if she is reading now!)
Millie, no, we did not accept the offer. Also, thanks for the helpful corrections. I made the same mistake in todays post! Just fixed the two, thanks to your note!
Sarah, Sorry for the delay in getting the sound file together. I need to do this... I like your Google translation -- well done!
Lee, wonderful quote. Thanks.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 21, 2013 at 06:30 PM
I thought bélier was a ram, which I did not think was a type of sheep... It's the word for Aries, anyway, which is a ram in English.
Posted by: Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles | Wednesday, January 23, 2013 at 08:33 PM
What is your yogurt cake recipe:)
Great story. Thanks!
Posted by: Nancy | Saturday, January 26, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Thanks for gathering together that flock of sheep-related words. Very timely, as belier and brebis appeared as words in my son's dictee homework on Friday eve. We were impressively well informed though and did't look sheepish, thanks to your good work!
Posted by: Lorraine | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:23 PM
Love it! Thanks, Lorraine.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Monday, January 28, 2013 at 02:28 PM