Quasimodo and Esteban

When I was a little kid, I loved “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”.

Yes,  I read it IN FRENCH when I was about ten.  I was living in France so it’s not as foufou as it sounds.

I was a wild and fairly rotten kid and was always either off adventuring on my bike or locking myself in my room to read and block out my parents who I considered intrusive and disruptive.  They expected me to do things like go to school or eat dinner.

One of my punishments for wildness and contrarianism was that my step-father bought me dozens of French classics in French.  If I wanted to read obsessively,  it had to be classics in French

So it was that I came to read Sartre, Camus, Moliere and, more benignly, Victor Hugo, in French, when I was ten. This probably explains a lot.  Also, I am grateful for this totally unsentimental education (yes, there was some Flaubert in there too.)

I don’t remember much about The Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Except of course Quasimodo and his bell-ringing.

Not long after reading the book, I went to the top of Notre Dame de Paris and looked at the bell and looked all over for Quasimodo.  He was not there.  But there were gargoyles and these appeased me. 

Yesterday, walking the dogs in the cemetery, we came across this weird bell thingamajig.  Stevie was fascinated and went to stand on the bell memorial – or whatever it is. 

This doesn’t even vaguely resemble the bell atop Notre Dame de Paris.  Looks a bit more like The Alamo and so it’s fitting that Esteban, “Stevie”, the Mexican Beach Dog, should be interested in it.

There is no moral to this story.



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