Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Joyeux Anniversaire

My kids pull the books out and occasionally mutter, "I can't read the words." But I notice this: They don't put them back. They stretch out on the floor, sometimes under my desk where the books are kept, and look. They turn the pages, giggling at some of the drawings. And every week or so, I catch one of them in there, reading Asterix. In French.

I have them in French not because I'm a snob, but because I was introduced to Asterix while serving a mission in France and I thought it would be fun to have a few of the books in their original tongue. Michelle has bought me a few in English, and when the kids find those, they really get excited. They read. And read. And read. Once and a while, they'll pull one of the French books out and convince me to read it to them. Sometimes I read them in French, which makes them cranky. Most of the time I translate, which isn't as easy as you'd think.

So to think that Asterix, Obelix and crew will celebrate their 50th birthday on Oct. 29 makes me happy. It's a great comfort to me to think that this village of unconquerable Gauls has been entertaining folks since 1959.

I love, by the way, how the toes are drawn in these books. They're so real. So human. So bony and hairy and unattractive, just as they should be.

Happy Birthday, Asterix and Obelix.

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