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Title: Histoire du chien de Brisquet / The Story of Brisquet's Dog
Author: Nodier, Charles
Language: French
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Histoire du chien de Brisquet / The Story of Brisquet's Dog" ***

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[Transcriber's note:

The French-language etext below is followed by an English translation.

The source edition is at http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5612458x.
]



Histoire du chien de Brisquet


Charles Nodier (1780-1844)


En notre forêt de Lions, vers le hameau de la
Goupillière, tout près d'un grand puits-fontaine
qui appartient à la chapelle Saint Mathurin, il y
avait un bonhomme, bûcheron de son état, qui s'appelait
Brisquet, ou autrement le fendeur à la bonne hache, et
qui vivait pauvrement du produit de ses fagots, avec
sa femme qui s'appelait Brisquette.

Le bon Dieu leur avait donné deux jolis petits enfants,
un garçon de sept ans qui était brun, et qui s'appelait
Biscotin, et une blondine de six ans qui s'appelait
Biscotine.

Outre cels, ils avaient un chien bâtard à poil frisé,
noir par tout le corps, si ce n'est au museau qu'il avait
couleur de feu; et c'était bien le meilleur chien du pays,
pour son attachement à ses maîtres.

On l'appelait la Bichonne, parce que c'était peut-être une
chienne.

Vous vous souvenez du temps où il vint tant de loups dans
la forêt de Lions.  C'était dans l'année des grandes neiges,
que les pauvres gens eurent si grand-peine à vivre.  Ce fut
une terrible désolation dans le pays.

Brisquet, qui allait toujours à sa besogne, et qui ne craignait
pas les loups à cause de sa bonne hache, dit un matin à Brisquette:
«Femme, je vous prie de ne laisser courir ni Biscotin ni Biscotine,
tant que M. le grand-louvetier ne sera pas venu.  Il y aurait du
danger pour eux.  Ils ont assez de quoi marcher entre la butte et
l'étang, depuis que j'ai planté des piquets le long de l'étang pour
les préserver d'accident.  Je vous prie aussi, Brisquette, de ne
pas laisser sortir la Bichonne, qui ne demande qu'à trotter.»

Brisquet disait tous les matins la même chose à Brisquette.  Un
soir il n'arrivait pas à l'heure ordinaire.  Brisquette venait sur
le pas de la porte, rentrait, ressortait, et disait en se croisant
les mains:  «Mon Dieu, qu'il est attardé!»

Et puis elle sortit encore, en criant:  «Eh!  Brisquet!»

Et la Bichonne lui sautait jusqu'aux épaules, comme pour lui dire:
--N'irai-je pas?

«Paix! lui dit Brisquette.--Écoute, Biscotine, va jusque devers la
butte pour savoir si ton père ne revient pas.--Et toi, Biscotin,
suis le chemin au long de l'étang, en prenant bien garde s'il n'y
a pas de piquets qui manquent.--Et crie fort:  Brisquet!  Brisquet!
Paix, la Bichonne!»

Les enfants allèrent, allèrent, et quand ils se furent rejoints à
l'endroit où le sentier de l'étang vient couper celui de la butte:

«Mordienne, dit Biscotin, je retrouverai notre pauvre père, ou les
loups m'y mangeront.»

«Pardienne, dit Biscotine, ils m'y mangeront bien aussi.»

Pendant ce temps-là, Brisquet était revenu par le grand chemin de
Puchay, en passant à la Croix aux Anes sur l'abbaye de Mortemer,
parce qu'il avait une hottée de cotrets à fournir chez Jean Paquier.

«As-tu vu nos enfants?» lui dit Brisquette.

«Nos enfants?» dit Brisquet.  «Nos enfants?  Mon Dieu! sont-ils
sortis?»

«Je les ai envoyés à ta rencontre jusqu'à la butte et à l'étang,
mais tu as pris par un autre chemin.»

Brisquet ne posa pas sa bonne hache.  Il se mit à courir du côté
de la butte.

«Si tu menais la Bichonne?» lui cria Brisquette.

La Bichonne était déjà très loin.

Elle était si loin que Brisquet la perdit bientôt de vue.  Et il
avait beau crier:  «Biscotin!  Biscotine!» on ne lui répondait pas.

Alors il se prit à pleurer, parce qu'il s'imagina que ses enfants
étaient perdus.

Après avoir couru longtemps, longtemps, il lui sembla reconnaître
la voix de la Bichonne.  Il marcha droit dans le fourré, à l'endroit
où il l'avait entendue, et il y entra, sa bonne hache levée.

La Bichonne était arrivée là, au moment où Biscotin et Biscotine
allaient être dévorés par un gros loup.  Elle s'était jetée devant
en aboyant, pour que ses abois avertissent Brisquet.  Brisquet, d'un
coup de sa bonne hache, renversa le loup raide mort, mais il était
trop tard pour la Bichonne.  Elle ne vivait déjà plus.

Brisquet, Biscotin et Biscotine rejoignirent Brisquette.  C'était
une grande joie, et cependant tout le monde pleura.  Il n'y avait
pas un regard qui ne cherchât la Bichonne.

Brisquet enterra la Bichonne au fond de son petit courtil sous une
grosse pierre sur laquelle le maître d'école écrivit en latin:

C'EST ICI QU'EST LA BICHONNE,
LE PAUVRE CHIEN DE BRISQUET.

Et c'est depuis ce temps-là qu'on dit en commun proverbe: Malheureux
comme le chien à Brisquet, qui n'allit qu'une fois au bois, et que le
loup mangit.


----------------------------------------------------------------------


The Story of Brisquet's Dog


Charles Nodier (1780-1844)


In our forest of Lions, going towards the hamlet of La
Goupillière, very close to a great well-spring belonging
to the chapel of Saint Mathurin, there was a man, a wood
cutter by trade, called Brisquet, or the good man with an
axe, who lived frugally from the sale of his firewood with
his wife, who was called Brisquette.

God had given them two fine young children, a boy of seven
who was dark and called Biscotin and a blonde girl of six
who was called Biscotine.

In addition to this they had a mongrel dog with curly hair,
black all over its body with the exception of its nose, which
was fire-red, and it was the best dog in those parts because
of its devotion to its owners.

They called it Bichonne because it might have been a bitch.

Do you remember the time when all those wolves came to the
forest of Lions?  That was the year when it snowed a lot, when
poor people had such a struggle just to stay alive.  The region
was totally desolate.

Brisquet, who always went to work, and who did not fear the
wolves owing to his sharp axe, said one morning to Brisquette:
"Woman, do not let either Biscotin or Biscotine go out until
the Wolffinder General has been.  It's too dangerous for them
out there.  It's enough if they can walk from the mound to the
pond now that I've put up a fence around the pond to stop them
falling in.  I'd also like to ask you, Brisquette, not to let
the dog out.  All she wants to do is go for walks."

Brisquet said the same thing to Brisquette every morning.  One
evening he did not arrive home at his usual time.  Brisquette
came to the threshold, went back in, came back out and said as
she clasped her hands together:  "My God, how late he is!"

And then she went out again shouting:  "Eh!  Brisquet!"

And Bichonne jumped up at her to shoulder height as if to say:
"Shall I go?"

"Down!" said Brisquette.  "Listen, Biscotine, go up to the mound
to see if your father is on his way home.  And you, Biscotin,
follow the path along the pond and take good care if part of the
fence is missing.  And shout out loud:  Brisquet!  Brisquet!  Get
down, Bichonne!"

The children went their separate ways and when they had met up at
the place where the road to the pond crosses that to the mound they
spoke:

"Damn it," said Biscotin, "I'll find our poor father or the wolves
can make a meal of me."

"Damn me too," said Biscotine.  "They can eat me too while they're
at it."

While all this was going on, Brisquet had come home via the main
road to Puchay by way of the Asses' Cross and Mortemer Abbey as he
had a bundle of thinly chopped firewood to deliver to Jean Paquier.

"Have you seen our children?" said Brisquette.

"Our children?" said Brisquet.  "Our children?  My God!  Have they
gone out?"

"I sent them as far as the mound and the pond to meet you, but you
came by a different route."

Brisquet did not put down his sharp axe.  He started to run in the
direction of the mound.

"Why don't you  take Bichonne with you?" Brisquette shouted after him.

But Bichonne was already way ahead of him.

She was so far ahead that Brisquet soon lost sight of her.  And it did
him no good to shout:  "Biscotin!  Biscotine!"  There was no answer.

He started to cry then, for he imagined that his children were a lost
cause.

After running for a long long time, it seemed to him that he could hear
Bichonne barking.  He walked straight towards the thicket, to the place
whee he had heard her and went in with his sharp axe raised.

Bichonne had got there just as Biscotin and Biscotine were about to be
devoured by a large wolf.  She had thrown herself forward barking so that
her barks could alert Brisquet.

Brisquet with a single blow of his sharp axe struck the wolf stone dead,
but it was too late for him to save Bichonne.  She was dead already.

Brisquet, Biscotin and Biscotine joined Brisquette.  There was great
rejoicing, yet they all wept tears.  They all looked to see if Bichonne
was there and she wasn't.

Brisquet buried Bichonne at the bottom of his little garden under a big
stone on which the schoolmaster wrote in Latin:

HERE LIES BICHONNE,
BRISQUET'S POOR DOG.

And from that time on the following proverb came into common usage:
To be wretched like Brisquet's dog that only went once to the wood and
was eaten by the wolf.





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