Strange Animals


So who has seen a Dormouse?  Or a Hedgehog?

I guess I thought of them as extinct or fanciful creatures.  Turns out they both live in Europe but not the United States.

Remember Spiny Norman the giant hedgehog in Monty Python’s Flying Circus?  You would expect MPFC to use weird imaginary creatures.

But then a year ago a former French teacher of mine in Tours posted on FB something about a hedgehog in her back yard.  Huh?  Like did she see a Unicorn too?

As for dormice, I do remember the Jefferson Airplane….  Remember what the dormouse said, Feed your head.  But I am not quite sure the meaning of that lyric or even if it is true because the dormouse in Alice in Wonderland appeared to be mostly asleep.  At least from my online research.  It’s been years since I read it.

And for some reason, I equate dormouse with The Night Before Christmas.  But it was written by an American (which one seems to be in doubt) and how would he have seen a dormouse?  The line is actually Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouseClearly dormouse would have messed up the meter.

With thanks to Wikipedia:

hedgehogHEDGEHOG: A hedgehog is any of the spiny mammals of the subfamily Erinaceinae, in the order Eulipotyphla. There are seventeen species of hedgehog in five genera, found through parts of Europe, Asia, and Africa, and in New Zealand by introduction.

dormouseDORMOUSE: The dormouse is a rodent of the family Gliridae. Dormice are mostly found in Europe, although some live in Africa and Asia. They are particularly known for their long periods of hibernation.  And I guess they are said to resemble squirrels…

What brought this on?  I had tea in the Marais this afternoon.  I usually avoid this quartier of Paris.  It’s a favorite with American tourists.  You will find the Picasso Museum here and  Musee Carnavalet and Musee Cognac-Jay.  And numerous chic-chic boutiques.  Several very old buildings (half timber in fact). And a great tea shoppe.

Le Loir dans la Theiere.  The Dormouse in the Teacup.    Quite eclectic.  Reminds me of a place I used to frequent in Haight Asbury in the 80’s.  But much better food – typical awesome French tarte avec champignons, poultry et curry.  Followed by a delish carrot cake.  (Funny, you can tell it’s the Marais – they used the French word or the mushrooms and the chicken and curry were English).

I left the house without a jacket today.  Every day this week I wore a light jacket or a blazer.  And after an hour or two, I was carrying it on my arm.  Today the forecast was for showers but still temps of 71 – 73.

Today, when I am without outerwear, after two hours it started to rain and got very chilly.  Fortunately we were in the tea shop during the worst of it.  And fortunately we were in the Marais.   While in the restaurant we heard an INCREDIBLY LOUD thunderclap!  But across Paris at Parc Monceau, closer to where I live, the thunder was accompanied by (or the other way round…) lightning.  Which actually struck 10 kids and an adult who were having a party.  Some seriously.  Wow.

Tomorrow is La Fete De La Mere here.  So happy Mother’s Day to anyone who qualifies (even for animals!).