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Truly ‘t is a rare bird in the land

Those of you familiar with my nonsense will know that I refer to my spouse as The Husband with Two Brains or HB². But he has another moniker, one that arose when he wasn’t even in the same country as the protagonist, let alone the same room.

Some while ago, probably 6 months after I moved to France, I was taking coffee with Raymond (adopt French accent, for he is indeed a proud Frenchman). Raymond came into world of HB² quite by chance some 20 years ago. A knock on his office door, a frantic colleague needing help with someone he suspected to be a Frenchman who had appeared uninvited in the lab. Under gentle interrogation it transpired that Raymond had spent all his savings on a single air fare to New York in pursuit of an Astronomy Professor that he particularly admired. He being, at the time, a student and general helper at the Astronomy faculty in Nice. Picked up by the Police wandering aimlessly, he somehow persuaded them to put him on the Amtrak to Boston from where he found his way to Harvard and there the story brought him into my husband’s orbit. Struck by his tenacity, his extraordinary affinity with the night-sky, which is akin to the ancient astronomers who first mapped and tried to understand the world beyond our globe, and touched by his desire to learn, my husband took him in and found him work in his lab. Eighteen months later he returned to France to complete a degree having finally accepted that to be taken seriously in the world of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Cosmology and all the attendent highbrow orbits he fancied dabbling in, he must have a degree. Since that time, Raymond remains devoted to Two Brains and I would suggest with some reason.

Back to the café where I had enjoyed a coffee and a chat with the same Raymond and asked his advice. I was concerned about my husband at the time for reasons I now fail to remember – living lives separated by 3,000 miles nurtures anxiety, or at least that has been my experience. As we stood to say our au revoirs, Raymond clasped me by the shoulders and, as he faire les emphatic bises (the air-kiss-kiss we do in France but with supplementary vigour to impart fortitude), declared that my husband is really un cochon rouge – a red pig. I queried this with a smile intended to make me the fool and a gentle ‘quoi?’ and he repeated ‘il est un petit cochon rouge’ – so in fact not just any red pig , but a small red pig. My husband stands almost 6′ and though of light and lean frame is not one to ever be described as little, particularly in France where most men are of, let’s say more concise hauteur. Including Raymond. To be doubly belt and braces sure that I understood him Raymond then announced in English ‘he is a red pig, a small red pig’.

Later that evening on the phone to The Brains I asked him, having Googled colloquial, slang and vernacular French all afternoon in vain. I enquired in a roundabout Winnie the Pooh sort of casual way what calling someone un cochon rouge or indeed un petit cochon rouge might mean. The answer came back ‘red pig or little red pig’. So not helpful at all. Accordingly spurred by what had now become an obsessive need to understand, I made a full confession, including sharing my troubled mind over he who owns both brains and was subjected to a stunned and complete silence. The identical stunned silence it turned out that Raymond employed a few weeks later when asked what he had meant by calling The Brains a red pig. He claimed he had said ‘un petit cochon rose’ and meant that my husband is more sensitive than he lets on. Less macho, less girder-built. I can firmly report that he did NOT. No sir. Not. At. All. I heard him entirely distinctly and he called my husband a little RED pig. Of course it has stuck. It begged to and would have been dreadfully rude to ignore it.

Therefore, when staying in Boothbay Harbor, Maine as recommended by my blogging friend ‘The Weird Guy with a Dog’ whom I wholeheartedly urge you to check out, and confronted with this wingèd porcine outside a pretty store selling eccentric ironwork, I was minded to abduct it but made do with a photograph for now. I perfectly intend to own it when we have a house to put it on – after all who can resist such a wondrous hog, seemingly dancing in the air, gleeful cheeks a-puffing, perky ears a-flapping and that tail uplifted with such blithe abandon. Nothing at all like my husband but portraying perfectly the joie de vivre I suspect we all aspire to and with the added advantage of telling you which way the wind blows. It is a rapturous porker, a piggy I will dream of until I return to make it my very own. I was inclined to share this story by the Weekly Photo Challenge prompt this week ‘Rare’ – if it piques your interest, you can see a sensational selection of entries here.

DSCF7024

PS: The quote is Martin Luther, Priest, Scolar, questioner and reformer ‘A faithful and good servant is a real godsend; but truly ‘t is a rare bird in the land’. Raymond has been a good and faithful servant to The Brains these more than twenty years and as you will discover when I write more of him is surely one of the rarest of birds you will encounter in a lifetime. Actually Luther was uncommonly fond of his rare birds giving the accolade to wise princes and even more to upright ones. That would probably apply today though to politicians rather than princes, I would suggest.

81 Comments Post a comment
  1. What a glorious piggy! You must have him!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
  2. Brilliant. I enjoyed every word. Thank you and of course piggy will be yours..

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
  3. Love it – you need that little red piggy – I know it will go well with your décor, right? Thanks dear Osyth, hope you are rested from your trip and welcome back! Happy Weekend to you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
    • I need the right roofline to display him – husband is going to be DELIGHTED that our house search in France now depends on a Red Pig!!! Thank you for the lovely welcome, dear friend and I’m hoping above all else that you are resting and taking care of yourself

      Liked by 2 people

      August 19, 2016
  4. You must absolutely find the right house in France for the pig, he is definitely yours, but buy him quickly before someone else snaps him up. We can always store him for you here until you find said perfect house! X

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
    • I have a thing about pigs (maybe that’s why I married le rouge!) … I’m so glad you understand my need for this one and your delightful offer is taken seriously … thank you!

      Like

      August 19, 2016
  5. Oooh, I do like this! Your storytelling always put a smile all over my face 🙂 Great post my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
  6. So, did you rescue him?

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
    • No … But we took the shop owners card and if he has gone when we are ready, he will make us one. He’s not an insignificant porker and will look fab on the roof of our Maison principale when we find it …. No way they will allow him on La Maison Carrée sadly though I think he would enhance the place 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
      • Me too! I can see just the spot for him there . He’s such a positive pig

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • Just need to get the mayor and the Historic Monuments Chap drunk on Aveze and we have lift-off 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • I know we are lucky (in some ways) not to be under auspices of BDF. Otherwise I would not have a roof terrace or free choice on facade colours.
        The Mayor takes an interest but he is not dictatorial.

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • It’s a double edged sword the BDF but not as bad as many make out (maybe it’s a departementale thing … ours is certainly not a fascist dictator. The Mayor has been hugely supportive but we are ever aware that we are care-takers of what the village calls its ’emblem’ – and we want to stay friends!!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • Well, our hovel is no-one’s emblem; the old ladies still think of it as collapsing outbuildings that were turned into some sort of grotty house relatively recently .i.e. 19thc .

        It is locally considered (by both the French and the incomers) to be a very undesirable house, though our builder has always begged to differ as he deems it to be sold and aligned perfectly compass- wise.
        It will be most interesting to see what they all think when it’s done…..If I could make an entire village rethink it would most certainly be a mini-miracle

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • They may never let on but I bet they will be proud …. Or conversely they may be of the opinion that they knew it all along 😉 I know whatever their thoughts that this so called hovel will be a triumph of good taste, skill and style combined with a mighty big glug of tenacity x

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • sorry “solid”. not “sold” makes quite a difference

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
      • It’s ok I have an inbuilt reverse autocorrect app in my head … I got the actual meaning 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        August 20, 2016
  7. When pigs fly! I see it and immediately think of a pink floyd concert from years ago! There are so many incredible craftspeople in Maine,

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
    • I fell in love with Maine in those few days …. We only scratched the barest surface of course but in addition to the scenery (which is incredibly beautiful), the people are really special. But you know that 😉. Pink Floyd … I remember seeing the pig flying over Battersea Power Station for the cover of Animals. The power station remains one of my favourite buildings in London. I will visit Maine again and again, no question 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  8. We have a beloved restaurant in our neighbourhood called “Flying Piggy’s” and there is a cochon very much like this one painted on their sign. You must come for a visit. My treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016
    • How can I refuse? Apart from great company, I get to see the piggy’s twin 😉

      Like

      August 20, 2016
  9. Love your storytelling – it is so gentle and enfolds me as it unwinds. Love the little piggy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • Thank you, Claudette … What a lovely compliment. I’ll fight you for the piggy, though!!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  10. So funny! The phrase, “When pigs fly” sprang immediately to mind. BTW, being Lutheran, I am a big fan of Martin. 🙂

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • I’m not Lutheran but I too am a fan. Wise, scholarly and not afraid to stand up to the status quo and push for change – at the high end of admirable!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  11. Pan #

    Looking forward to reading about the good and faithful servant and why he called Two Brains a little red pig.. Unless I missed the explanation in the post, there is more to this little red pig story..

    Glad to see you writing again ! Fun and with a seemingly cliffhanger here 😄

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • You are right …. There will be more! So happy you enjoyed it – your opinion is very much valued chez moi as I hope you know 💫💫

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  12. Cool choice for this challenge, Osyth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • Thank you Stefano …. It’s funny what the prompts bring out 😉 So kind of you to take the trouble to comment … Many thanks for stopping by ☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  13. What larks!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
  14. Lovely story. Let me just add the existence of the Pigtown Fling, an annual dance event in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the US. When I was a younger man, the symbol of the Fling was a wingèd pig. http://www.cincinnaticontradance.org/pigtown.htm

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • Oh my good Lord, I have to go to this! Thank you so much for sharing it and thank you for your kind remarks about the story.

      Like

      August 20, 2016
  15. Delightful 🙂 I wish there were more rare politicians and I am looking forward to checking out that weird guy with a dog.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 20, 2016
    • I’m so glad you enjoyed it and particularly pleased that you picked up my remark about politicians 😉💫 The Weird Guy is great – I hope you enjoy his blog 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      August 20, 2016
  16. I love the pig. How funny!🐷

    Liked by 1 person

    August 21, 2016
  17. haha A delightful post Fiona! So glad you are back over here, hope we can catch up xx

    Liked by 1 person

    August 21, 2016
  18. I can see why you covet such a magnificent flying pig. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 22, 2016
    • I’m glad you understand …. And thank you for taking the time to comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
  19. Love this post….and the flying hog would look wonderful in your garden…..xxkat

    Liked by 1 person

    August 22, 2016
    • He’ll sit on our roof and spin with the wind one of these days, I’m convinced. Fortunately Two Brains agrees or it could get messy 😂😂😂

      Like

      August 22, 2016
  20. Thanks for a great read with which to start the week Osyth. For some reason I had a flashback to Tommy Steele and his Little White Bull – googled it to find it was released in 1959!! – relieved to see the memory is still intact – thanks for the jog 🙂 Have a great week

    Liked by 1 person

    August 22, 2016
    • I loved that song though of course I’m too young to remember it’s release (!!!) …. It’s my great pleasure to have given your memory a jog and your week a good start 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      August 22, 2016
  21. Love it especially since I have a passion for pigs particularly the ones I had on the farm so I can understand your penchant for the red porky. I’m sure he will adorn your rooftop one day.

    Like

    August 22, 2016
  22. Wonderful post! Love the pig! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    August 23, 2016
  23. Love the read. Your stories are always awesome. Too much positive energy in you to share with. And love the motivation in you with the fellow bloggers. You are so distinct in personality, Thank you Osyth.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 25, 2016
    • What a lovely compliment … I am flattered and humbled – thank you SO much for making my day 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      August 25, 2016
  24. And, I managed to once again trash one of your comments. Don’t feel special, I seem to do it whenever, I reply on a computer rather than my iPhone. Thank you. Did you see any whales?

    Liked by 1 person

    August 28, 2016
    • Haha! I keep ending up in other bloggers Spam …. perhaps I should take a hint! Yes, we saw several … it was absolutely magical because we had our youngest daughter with us who is staying for three weeks from England and it fulfilled a life-long dream for her 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      August 28, 2016
      • That is awesome. They are amazing to see. I hope that you have a fun filled three weeks in planned. Cheers!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 28, 2016
      • We do – much of which you have pointed me to through your pictures. She’s a Fine Art student going into the final year of her degree …. Plenty of art and inspiration to be found when we know where to look and your blog is a great guide in addition to being chock full of beautiful images 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        August 29, 2016
      • I’m so glad you could use my blog as a menu of sites that she can go to see. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

        August 29, 2016
  25. I guess it could be much worse…. Teddy was regularly called kwagga in Egypt (to his face) which means friendly outsider or possibly something not quite so nice…

    Liked by 1 person

    September 1, 2016
    • 😂😂😂😂 …. I’m sure it was meant as a compliment!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 1, 2016
  26. I am laughing and slap happy + sleepy so will come back soon to reply to your when pigs fly post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    September 16, 2016
    • Laughing is ALWAYS good …. Sleepy must always be respected lest it turns into its cruel sister, exhaustion xx

      Liked by 1 person

      September 16, 2016
      • So thankful you joined me in laughter and hope you don’t catch the sleepy part as yawning can be contagious. I heard a sweet note of sympathy from you, dear. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 17, 2016
  27. Superb post and so well written. 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    October 10, 2016
    • Thank you! That little pig was an open invitation to write the story of mon petit cochon rouge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      October 10, 2016
  28. What a lovely way to start my day.. with a smile from this post.. Yep that ‘joie de vivre’ is obviously catching from that pig! x

    Liked by 1 person

    October 13, 2016
    • Joie de cochon! 🐖 xx

      Liked by 1 person

      October 13, 2016
      • renifler comme un cochon maintenant ! xx Have a great day! x

        Liked by 1 person

        October 13, 2016
      • Mais jamais sentir comme un cochon 🐷 😉 et bon journée a toi aussi xx

        Liked by 1 person

        October 13, 2016
      • Merci ma petite ‘cochon’ ami .. haha xx

        Liked by 1 person

        October 13, 2016
  29. Thank you so much for the link …. much appreciated 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 19, 2016

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  1. Rare (Antiques) | What's (in) the picture?
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