“How do you say ‘go away’ in English?”
My mother is watching from the porch of our two storey wooden house. On the other side of the gate, stopping us from crossing the street, stopping us from getting to the park, a dog, studying the three strange children telling it to go away.
“It doesn’t understand French.”
My mother teaches me my first words in English. I try them. The dog is not impressed.
Addressing the dog in French, while it sniffs her closed hand, the farmer’s daughter explains “when talking to animals, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” The dog wags its tail in agreement.