Monday, August 27, 2007

Le Petit Cheval in France--the photos

Dear reader, I am home at last and can once again post the photos of Le Petit Cheval in France. Here is the little horse in Monet's garden:

And here are the pansies he ate:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Le Petit Cheval in France

Giverny was wonderful. After the beautiful gardens they toured the house itself. It was full of Japanese prints, which highly influenced Monet and the other Impressionist painters of his time. The little horse particularly noted that some of the prints were in several parts, “triptychs,” which is a big word meaning in three pieces. The rooms were beautiful, but full of furniture and china and ropes to keep you out of them. Once again the little horse became impatient. “That could be his middle name,” said Bel Canto, his sister. “The little impatient horse.”

The next day was devoted to touring Paris itself. There is so much to see, and so little time to see it in. “And these grown ups are so pokey,” the little horse wrote to his sister on a postcard of Sainte Chapelle. He signed the postcard, “le petit chaval.” He liked his new name.

Sainte Chapelle is a small church nearly buried in the law courts in the middle of downtown Paris. It is blue and red and gold, painted all over on the inside in wonderful patterns. The ceiling has gold stars painted on a blue background. The stained glass windows are spectacular. Even Le Petit Cheval could have spent hours and hours staring at the beautiful carvings and paintings and the amazing windows. Reluctantly he bid farewell to the beautiful little chapel. Compared to Notre Dame, this was more his size.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A trip to Monet's garden

My dear reader, I must digress in the telling of this story. Bel Canto and I are on vacation, away from our usual computer and without access to the photos and tools we usually use to compose the narrative. You must indulge me, please, reader, and put your imagination to work because there will be no pictures to accompany these stories for a few weeks.

When I left off, the little horse, Le Petit Cheval, was asleep in the bottom of the leather back pack. He slept soundly through the night and was chagrinned to wake up on the little shelf in the little room in the Hotel Minerve the next morning. Here he was in Paris and he had slept through the visit to the Eiffel Tower.

But today was another exciting day. Le Petit Cheval enjoyed his breakfast, as usual. He was hungry as a horse, having missed dinner the night before. After breakfast he accompanied his traveling companions to the train station. They were going to see Monet’s gardens at Giverny. It involved a train ride, a bus rise, and then a walk. The countryside was beautiful, despite the intermittent rain. The little horse just thought the rain made the greens of the countryside look greener. He did not mind a little rain. It rolled off his back. But the gardens at Giverny! This was something to see. There was a large pond, with lots of lily pads, but no blooms yet—too early in the summer. A wonderful little bridge arched over the narrow part. He trotted up and down it, enjoying the sounds his hooves made on the wooden bridge. Suddenly a fat tourist spotted him. “Oh look at the little horse,” she cried and she nearly stepped on him trying to catch him. The little horse ran for all his might and leaped into a bed of pansies. He nearly disappeared under the orange and purple blossoms. “Come on, Lovey,” said the woman’s husband. “We haven’t got time to mess with little horses. It’s time to eat.”

So the little horse was saved by the skin of his teeth and the super sizing of America. And he had discovered something for himself. Did you know that pansies are edible? He thought they were delicious, especially the purple ones. Then once again he found himself scooped up and plopped in the leather backpack. He was becoming used to traveling this way, but he thought it lacked dignity and he had a hard time seeing. And he had nibbled on so many pansies that he began to feel seasick.

“Someday,” he thought to himself, “I will explore on my own, all by myself, and no one will put me in a backpack ever again.” But for now, he had no choice.