Monday, May 12, 2008

Jumping Leprechauns, Are Those Roses on your Piano?

May 13, 2008 - Ah May - the month we celebrate all things Irish... beer, green, green beer, whiskey, beer... What? That's March? Oh right, St. Patrick's Day. But wait, there's more (well less really). We can raise a wee pint for the Leprechaun. Leprechaun folk (which comes from the Irish Gael "leipreachan" meaning half-bodied) are wee mischievous faeries that inhabited Ireland before the Celts got there. I have a soft spot for the leprechaun, for they are cobblers by trade. It is said that if you ever come across a leprechaun, you are not to take your eyes off him. The moment you do, he will vanish. If he disappears, however will he be able to lead you to his giant cauldron of shoes? Alas, today is Leprechaun Day. I will celebrate as I do every day, by admiring my many shoes, and paying momentary homage to the tiny cobbler.

I would be willing to bet that there are several pairs of shoes in my closet, in boxes and out, that I've never worn. I'm a gambling girl. Unlike Jim Smiley, I don't think I'm addicted to gambling (but I might be willing to bet on it). Mark Twain wove a marvelous tale of Jim Smiley and "The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". Somehow, today became Jumping Frog Day in honour of Twain's short story, published in 1865. It isn't Twain's birthday, nor is it the anniversary of his death. I may have to re-read the 'Jumping Frog' to find a link.

Mark Twain would be one of the people I would have at that fictional dinner party table - you know the one - that dinner where you could have anyone there, either dead or alive. Mr. Twain found a copy of this short story translated in French and proceeded to re-translate it back into English keeping all of the French grammar and sentence structure. Now here's why I want him at my fictional dinner - he then had the cheek to publish all three versions of the story (the original, the French and the word for word re-translation) under the title "The Jumping Frog: In English, Then in French, and Then Clawed Back Into A Civilized Language Once More by Patient, Unremunerated Toil".1. Now that is mischievous.

It's also Tulip Day today... so if you aren't in to a tiptoe through the garden, you can always bring a vase of tulips in to place on the organ.

1. Wikipedia has more on this short story and the full text - if you want to spend Frog Jumping Day reading the source.

1 comment:

  1. Too funny, I sent a link to your blog to all my friends, it makes me laugh and I can't wait to see what you have to say tomorrow.



Add to Technorati Favorites