Wednesday, January 20, 2010

DIKI, The Enchanted Red Robin by Bernard Roy. FRENCH & ENGLISH

I have written abc? in blue where I am unsure of a word (or phrasing). PLEASE, anyone, let me know if you can correct anything. I know nothing and am appreciative of a friend at work who was able and willing to take the story this far (thanks Tim).

Anjon is one of the most beautiful provinces in France. The abc? which arises here, the flowers, the fruits and the delicious wines which the sun produces make the people the most affable, enjoying the bounties of their territory.
In the heart of this friendly country, near Angers, lived in the time of Louis XVI, a painter famed for his ability to paint flowers and to colour his paintings. He was named Jean de la Baumette. The artist believed in the traditional values, each day, the truth of nature. Roses, thoughts, jasmines he reproduced so realistically that, sometimes, butterflies came through the windows to abc? them, and then left, worried at their misunderstanding.
Jean de la Baumette was a charming gentleman – even if a little different (as are many artists).
abc? He lived with his Francoise, his beautiful daughter, in a small cottage decorated with fine abc? And he loved to be with his abc? Also he had written on the door of his place “Know, dear visitors, you who come to see me do me an honour, and in coming give me great pleasure.”
Not being vain, the painter attributed part of his success to Francoise. Since her childhood, the young girl, for sixteen years abc? To the violets, brought him from her walks the most beautiful flowers, the most delicate foliage in the world.
One day after a devastating storm while Francoise was returning home with her hands full of flowers, she noticed at the foot of a tree a robin wounded by the storm which, a abc? under it and abc? with a abc? of a small branch under its wing, was making feeble sounds. You could hear it say Diki… Diki… so much that she christened it Diki.
The child delicately placed the bird in the folds of her dress to carry it home, where the father and daughter sought to warm it up, care for it and get it some milk.
They thought that the wounded one would recover its health. Its little cries Diki… Diki… seemed to say thank you! ... thankyou!
It was at this endearing moment that the artist, without any flowers, did a portrait of the bird that was so good you’d think it could sing.
Francoise was enraptured, and put the pretty drawing at the head of her bed as if it was that of a lover.
Alas Diki did not survive his injuries. When one morning Francoise found it abc? and cold in front of abc? she felt deep sadness in her heart. She cried all day and then decided to bury her little friend at the foot of the tree where she had found it. On its tomb, covered in tulips, she wrote “Diki”, and left weeping.
When next morning Francoise opened her eyes, she let out a big cry that made her father come running.
-Look, look she said while pointing out the drawing on the wall where, the day before, Diki, with the all-seeing eye, and proud of his red hood like a Chief Judge’s, seen on the top of her little friend… Diki was no longer there, he had flown away.
In fact, the sheet was white. No bird!
How odd, said the painter. My pictures are so lively that they take wings?
With these words, a robin just like Diki came and settled on the bed.
- Who are you, asked the anxious girl – A magic bird?
- Perhaps, replied a mysterious voice.
But Monsieur de la Baumette let his palette fall to the ground in wonder when the robin added:
- Listen to me, little Francoise, and don’t cry. I have chosen you to be the heroine of a great adventure. My master is a prince of marriageable age. He has asked me to find in Anjou the prettiest, the sweetest, the girl who cares most for the unfortunate – and I think you are that girl.
- Francoise blushed and said: I’m confused, Monsieur Diki, with your overly generous opinion. I have two big defects: I am picky and I don’t like housework.
The robin, flattered at being called Monsieur for the first time in its life, took charge, rested on the painter’s shoulder and said: I’ll wait for you in the orchard. Take your paintings and a abc? To work…
And he flew out the window.
Monsieur de la Baumette obeyed and, following the exact word of Diki, painted on the white wall of abc? a magnificent golden carriage pulled by black horses.
- Perfect, cried Diki, looking at the work like a knowledgeable critic. But you’ve forgotten to give a collar to your creation, my dear friend. Please paint me a black abc? and dressed in rose. I love this tonal harmony.
- My dear friend – are you a decorator also? Asked Monsieur de la Baumette while putting on the front of the carriage a turbaned negro, ready to seize the reins.
- without abc?, I am one of the party, says Diki. The robin is a friend of the painters. But even if everybody admires the vermillion abc? which adorns our crest, few would know the origin of this feature. Understand that on Calvary one of our ancestors, desperate at his powerlessness to save the Lord dying on the cross, came to rest on the shoulder of Jesus to console him and tell him of his love. A drop of blood then fell from the crown of thorns onto his plumage and marked his throat forever. Ever since, we wear at our neck, like a gift from God, this cravat of the legion of honour for small birds. But I digress, and time passes.
Go, little Francoise! Go on your adventure.
The next brush stroke had not been made by la Baumette, when Diki let forth in his strongest voice his familiar cry: Diki, Diki!
And then abc? was completed.
Slowly, slowly, like abc? the carriage detached from the wall. Then the horses took on life, puffing and panting and then the negro coachman abc? his whip. The robin hardly left any time for Francoise to kiss her father. The team abc? Soon they flew away.
The voyager whose garden dress miraculously became a abc? dress, sees from the bottom of its abc? flew over the countryside hidden under its swift passage. She would have been scared of this incredible journey with the unhappy negro if Diki, flying close, hadn’t reassured her.
- Don’t worry Francoise. I am here. I’ll guard you from danger!
After travelling for several hours along the river to this abc? the team did a slow trot to go into a forest where Francoise saw the abc? clearing?? . The beautiful black horses became white under the abc?
- We’ve arrived, cried Diki.
Night fell on the black abc? At a turn in the avenue a white abc? barred the passage but at that time, coming out from a abc? a small faun, one could say, leapt, while laughing, towards the travellers and opened with two abc?
The vehicle goes slowly into the sandy courtyard and stops in front the abc? of a lovely abc? of lilies. The small faun opens the carriage door and lays out a carpet under Francoise’s feet who only has three steps to go into the abc? of a room coloured with blooming roses that her father has imitated so often. A large lamp was ready to welcome them between silken curtains.
- Please rest, little Francoise, said Diki, you must be very tired. Tomorrow morning we are going to meet my master, the young prince. Goodnight.
And they went to sleep. The negro, after taking the horses to the stable, lay down on a carpet just like Diki the robin, rests his head on the bed, says good night, just like his abc? on Calvary.
Then darkness came quickly. The abc? played on their little flutes while in the night sky the stars took their place for a magical feast offered by the moon to amateur poets.
Next morning, while Francoise and Diki were walking in the lovely park, the bird disappeared only to return suddenly to the young girl, carrying in its beak a fiery coloured rose.
- I bring you this welcoming flower on behalf of my master, Prince Andegave, who follows behind, telling me to place a rose in Francoise’s abc? where it will remain, like in a nest, saying you are tired from so much travel.
Then a young man dressed in golden satin and riding on a white horse appeared a moment later. Seeing Francoise the horseman gave an admiring glance – Diki immediately made the introductions.
Prince Andegave bowed to Francoise and said many gallant things. Then the trio sat under a abc? where people chat or sing, laughing or playing abc? while gorging on chocolate, far from abc? the drama which was occurring ???
The happening was tragic. In fact, our negro driver was charmed by fairies and especially by the way that Diki had brought to life, with his little cry, the paintings of Monsieur de la Baumette on the walls of the abc? had wanted to imitate him. Oh! for sure he didn’t have the talent of Francoise’s father. At least he had arrived to trace with a piece of coal on the wall of the abc? a strange silhouette of a huge abc? which in his distant land was the idol of his people.
Proud of his work, our black driver stood before the image of the monster, tried to imitate the cry of the robin and succeeded so well that he didn’t have to repeat it. Di-ki, Di-ki, Di-ki. The words abc?
Suddenly the image came to life, let out a frightening scream and threw itself towards the small negro who put up his arms to save himself and only had time to abc? to a tree. The animal was pursuing him when Prince Andegave and Francoise appeared. Seeing them, the savage beast turned and, baying, breathing fire, he turned to them. Francoise thought she would die from fear and disgust. She was as pale as the moon.
Fearlessly and with a level head the young horseman took his sword, and shielding the young girl, walked toward the horrible image. The blows which he made courageously seemed unfortunately to have no impact on the abc? beast which, after gathering itself up, went to abc?
But from where he was watching, hidden in Francoise’s crinoline, Diki saw the threat. Like a page from earlier times defending his lord in combat, he flew into the monster’s face and with all the strength in his beak, he pecked at its eyes.
The blinded beast tottered. It turned round, thrashing and crying out. Really thirsty, its instinct led it to the river in a zig zag manner. But, in these fields, the banks of the abc? are steep, and when the prince and Francoise (who was still carrying Diki the hero on her head) reached them, they were just able to help the incredible monster in its final plunge. The drowning was accompanied by a piercing scream and a thrashing of water. A column of sulphurous air came up from the river where the monster had fallen in, leaving when it had dispersed, an enormous dark rock in the shape of the monster.
This mass named “The Black Rock” or “The Pierre Becherel”, was glowing during the night and still is there. It became the last pedestal of Diki.
Perched on top of the rock, the enchanted bird said goodbye to Francoise and the prince, and advised them to get married immediately so as not to waste a day’s happiness.
To finish, the robin repeated twice: Diki, Diki as if it was saying: so it should be, and, his mission complete, flew away into the sweet beyond.
When the young lovers returned home after their marriage had been blessed under the marvellous flowery walls of the old abbey de la Touissants, they found a portrait of Diki drawn on the wall near their bed. And each morning, during the abc? years the lived together, the little enchanter would wake them with its joyous cry: Di-ki, Di-ki, Diki, to tell them of the new day, and that the time of baked tarts and chocolate creams had come.

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